This year’s Corruption Perceptions Index report has put Australia in 12th place, scoring 77 points on the 100-point scale. Our rank has gone up one point compared to last year, but this is only because Canada and the United Kingdom have each slid down the ranking, inadvertently nudging Australia up.
Since 2012, Australia has slid 8 points in Transparency International’s global corruption ranking, and this downward trajectory is cause for concern. It followed a similar, though less dramatic, trajectory to Australians’ crashing satisfaction with democracy, which has halved this past decade.
This year’s CPI research highlights what the countries at the top, or the ‘cleanest’ countries, do have in common. These countries all share similar characteristics in a robust rule of law, independent institutions that provide oversight over political decisions, and a public with a low tolerance for corruption.
These are the very institutions and expressions that we must value and strengthen to prevent and stop corruption. Unfortunately, for a number of years the very institutions that keep us honest have been sorely tested.