The 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index reveals that a majority of countries are showing little to no improvement in tackling corruption. More than two-thirds of countries score below 50 on the CPI, with an average score of just 43.
Transparency International’s research shows corruption is more pervasive in countries where big money can flow freely into electoral campaigns and where governments listen only to the voices of wealthy or well-connected individuals.
Reducing big money in politics and ensuring political decision-making is inclusive, are essential to curbing corruption.
Across the world, there is a concerning popular perception that rich people buy elections.
The latest global corruption report points a finger squarely at the corrosive influence of money in politics. The murkier the political donations trail, the more corrupt a country tends to be. The more politicians consult with their friends and cronies rather than the broader public to inform their decisions, the more corrupt a country tends to be.
This year’s report has put Australia in 12th place, scoring 77 points on the 100-point scale. Since 2012, Australia has slid 8 points in Transparency International’s global corruption ranking.
While Australia still ranks among the world’s most corruption-free countries, for a number of years the very institutions that keep us honest have been sorely tested.
To avoid sliding further down the corruption scale:
- We need greater transparency and stronger rules around political donations and lobbying;
- We need to value and strengthen the independence of public institutions that check against the abuse of power and misuse of public funds; and
- We need to value and empower the important role the public and the press play in keeping the government honest.
For further analysis on what the CPI results mean for Australians, continue reading