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UK anti-corruption progress delicately poised

Gradual improvements to the UK’s Corruption Perceptions Index score will not give way to significant change without a clear strategy and robust commitments.


London 3 December 2014 The UK Government’s recent efforts to tackle corruption are reflected in an increase in the UK’s score in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index released today. The 2014 index ranks the UK as 14th, with a score of 78 out of 100; an improvement of last year’s score of 76, when the UK’s world ranking was also 14th.

But the gradual rise in the UK’s score over the last few years – reflecting the positive momentum initiated by the Bribery Act of 2010 – will not transform into a step-change in tackling corruption without a coordinated strategy and robust commitments from the new Government after May’s General Election.

Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index scores 175 countries and territories from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean), based on perceived levels of public sector corruption. It is the world’s most widely-recognised tool for highlighting corruption and prompting governments to act.

“The gradual increase in the UK’s score highlights the continued impact of the Bribery Act on the UK’s international reputation and the efforts the current government has made to combat corruption. The UK’s commitment to a public register of beneficial ownership of companies is one key area where the UK is now playing a global leadership role,” said Dr. Robert Barrington, Executive Director of Transparency International UK.

Transparency International UK is calling on the UK Government to recognise that the UK, and London in particular, is in danger of becoming a global corruption services centre: a place where corrupt individuals can safely launder and enjoy their illicit wealth. In order to combat this, and remove the UK as one half of an equation that allows corruption to flourish in other countries, the Government must commit to a coordinated strategy that tackles corruption both domestically and internationally.

Corruption Perceptions Index 2014 – International results

Corruption is a problem for all economies, requiring leading financial centres in the EU and US to act together with fast-growing economies to stop the corrupt from getting away with it, anti-corruption group Transparency International said today.

Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2014 shows corruption continues to affect societies around the world. More than two-thirds of the 175 countries in the 2014 index score below 50 out of 100.

Denmark comes out first with a score of 92, while North Korea and Somalia share last place, scoring just 8.

The scores of several countries rose or fell by four points or more. The biggest falls were in Turkey (-5), Angola, China, Malawi and Rwanda (all -4). The biggest improvers were Côte d´Ivoire, Egypt, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (+5), Afghanistan, Jordan, Mali and Swaziland (+4).

China’s score fell to 36 in 2014 from 40 in 2013, despite the fact the Chinese Government launched an anti-corruption campaign targeting corrupt public officials.

The Corruption Perceptions Index is based on experts’ opinions of public sector corruption gathered through 12 independent surveys by organisations including the Economist Intelligence Unit, Bertelsmann Foundation and Freedom House. Countries’ scores can be helped by strong freedom of information systems and effective rules governing the behaviour of those in public positions. A lack of accountability across the public sector coupled with ineffective public institutions hurts these perceptions and results in a lower score.

Background

In 2012, Transparency International updated the methodology for the Corruption Perceptions Index. Therefore, scores can be compared year on year from 2012 onwards.

ENDS

Media contact

Scott Edwards
E: scott.edwards@transparency.org.uk
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