29 January 2019
Transparency International’s landmark annual report has put Australia in 13thplace. The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) is the most widely used indicator of corruption worldwide. It assesses the level of public sector corruption in each of the world’s 180 countries according to data sources from expert independent institutions.
‘Over the past seven years, Australia has slipped 8 points in Transparency International’s global ranking.’ Transparency International Australia CEO, Serena Lillywhite said.
‘Australia used to rank among the top ten least-corrupt countries. We fell out of the league of world-leading nations back in 2014 and continuously fail to lift our game.
‘The perception of experts mirror that of ordinary Australians: our survey found an alarming level of declining trust in our elected representatives. 85 per cent of Australians now think at least “some” federal politicians are corrupt.
‘Despite these worrying downward trends, Australia has not done enough to inject much-needed accountability and transparency into our politics.
‘The theme of this year’s CPI report focuses on democracy because of the strong correlation between corruption and autocracy. When our democratic institutions are transparent and accountable, our democracy is healthy and robust.
‘The strong message that resonates throughout Transparency International’s analysis is that to control corruption, governments the world over need to strengthen the institutions that provide democratic checks and balances and protect people’s rights.
‘Strengthening our democracy must be a priority for 2019. It is great that most of our parliament now supports some form of national anti-corruption agency, but theGovernment’s proposed model does not go far enough. The National Integrity Bills proposed by Cathy McGowan MP provide a more comprehensive and coordinated approach to addressing issues of parliamentary integrity and preventing, detecting, investigating and disclosing corruption.’
‘Now is the time, without delay and political wrangling, for our Federal Parliament to come together and create a well-resourced, nationally coordinated pro-integrity framework, with an emphasis on prevention alongside strong investigative powers.’
For more information on Transparency International Australia’s views on best practice for a national anti-corruption and integrity framework, please find our recent submission to the National Integrity Commission bills.