USA perceived as increasingly corrupt: survey
6 November 2006By Leon Mangasarian, dpaBerlin (dpa) - Global watchdog Transparency International on Monday published its annual corruption perceptions index spotlighting the cleanest states and naming and shaming the worst. Corruption is fuelling poverty around the world said Transparency International (TI) in its index ranking the best and worst countries for bribery and graft in the public sector. The 2006 Corruption Perceptions Index ranks 163 countries on a scale of zero (highly corrupt) to 10 (highly
6 November 2006
By Leon Mangasarian, dpa
Berlin (dpa) - Global watchdog Transparency International on Monday published its annual corruption perceptions index spotlighting the cleanest states and naming and shaming the worst.
Corruption is fuelling poverty around the world said Transparency International (TI) in its index ranking the best and worst countries for bribery and graft in the public sector.
The 2006 Corruption Perceptions Index ranks 163 countries on a scale of zero (highly corrupt) to 10 (highly clean) based on a composite index of polls from experts and business sources.
Jointly sharing the number one clean list rank this year are Finland, Iceland and New Zealand which each have a score of 9.6.
Denmark, Singapore, Sweden and Switzerland are ranked as the fourth to seventh cleanest nations.
Worst ranked for corruption is Haiti with just 1.8 points. It is followed by Iraq, Guinea and Myanmar which share the penultimate slot with a score of 1.9.
Bangladesh, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sudan are jointly ranked as the third most corrupt states.
The index reveals a strong correlation between corruption and poverty, with a concentration of impoverished states at the bottom of the ranking, said a TI statement.
"Corruption traps millions in poverty," said TI chair Huguette Labelle, adding: "Despite a decade of progress in establishing anti-corruption laws and regulations, today's results indicate that much remains to be done."
All low-income countries and all but two African states score below five points, meaning they face serious perceived levels of domestic corruption.
Botswana is the cleanest ranked African state in 37th place on the list, with South Africa (51st place) and Namibia (55th place) in the upper third. Nigeria is among the worst-ranked states at place 142.
Among the major world powers, Germany was ranked 16th, Japan 17th, France 18th, the United States was in 20th place (tied with Chile and Belgium), Brazil, China and India were tied at 70th place and Russia was 121st.
The rankings of Romania and Bulgaria - which are both due to join the European Union on January 1, 2007 - do not correspond with the common view in Brussels that Bulgaria has more corruption problems.
TI's index puts Bulgaria in 57th place while giving Romania a worse corruption perceptions ranking at 84th place.
Countries with a significant worsening of corruption include: Brazil, Cuba, Israel, Jordan, Laos, Seychelles, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and the US, said the report.
Countries with a significant reduction in perceived levels of corruption include: Algeria, Czech Republic, India, Japan, Latvia, Lebanon, Mauritius, Paraguay, Slovenia, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uruguay.
TI's corruption perceptions index focuses on the public sector and defines corruption as "the abuse of public office for private gain."
Several countries previously covered in the survey have been dropped this year due to lack of sufficient data, said TI. These include Afghanistan, Palestine and Somalia.
The report's methodology has changed slightly in that it now only uses data from the past two years and not three years as it used to do.
Among the index's sources are surveys by the World Bank, the Economist Intelligence Unit and the US-based non-government organization Freedom House.
Subject: German news