Corruption by the Numbers

Nov 6, 2006 12:13pm

Public sector corruption is rampant in nearly half of the 163 nations included in the annual Corruption Perception Index (CPI) released today by Transparency International, a Berlin-based private sector group that has issued the composite report on pubic corruption data for more than ten years. Among industrialized nations with a serious and growing public corruption problem is the United States. Iraq has sunk to the bottom of the list, ranking among the worst three of the 163 nation states surveyed. Only Myanmar and Haiti fare worse. THE BLOTTER RECOMMENDS Follow the Bouncing Bribe Scandal: Keeping Tabs on the Abramoff Lobbying Investigation Congressman Jefferson Probe Leads to Crisis in Nigerian Government Click Here to Ask Brian Ross a Question "While the industrialized countries score relatively high on the CPI 2006, we continue to see major corruption scandals in many of these countries," the organization noted in releasing its annual report. "The presence of willing intermediaries — who are often trained in or who operate from leading economies — encourages corruption; it means the corrupt know there will be a banker, accountant, lawyer or other specialist ready to help them generate, move or store their illicit income." Bribery scandals, such as the Jack Abramoff case in the United States, often contribute to the perception of corruption, Transparency International noted. The CPI is comprised of data from multiple expert opinion surveys that polled perceptions of public corruption. "Countries with a significant worsening in perceived levels of corruption include: Brazil, Cuba, Israel, Jordan, Laos, Seychelles, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and the United States. Countries with a significant improvement in perceived levels of corruption include: Algeria, Czech Republic, India, Japan, Latvia, Lebanon, Mauritius, Paraguay, Slovenia, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uruguay," according to the report.
Transparency International has a strong business and security industry membership in 100 countries. The group lobbies for stiff anti-corruption laws and penalties for violating them. It concludes that there is a strong correlation between corruption and poverty, with serious corruption in all of the low income states surveyed. Read the Corruption Perception Index report released by Transparency International.

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