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Corruption Perceptions Index 2014

Written by Scott Edwards on Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index was launched today. Now in its 20th year, the index is the world’s most widely-recognised tool for fighting corruption and prompting governments to act. But what exactly is the CPI, and what does this year’s index show?

Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index was launched today. Now in its 20th year, the index is the world’s most widely-recognised tool for fighting corruption and prompting governments to act. But what exactly is the CPI, and what does this year’s index show?


The Corruption Perceptions Index measures perceived levels of public sector corruption in countries around the world.

This year, its results were based on the findings of 12 surveys conducted by independent institutions such as the Economist Intelligence Unit, Bertelsmann Foundation and Freedom House.

Unfortunately, more than two thirds of the 175 countries in the 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index score below 50 on a scale from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be very clean). Denmark comes out on top, with a score of 92, and North Korea and Somalia share last place, scoring just 8.

Countries’ scores can be helped by open government where the public can hold leaders to account, while a poor score is a sign of prevalent bribery, lack of punishment for corruption, and public institutions that don’t respond to citizens’ needs.

Turkey, China and Angola were some of the biggest fallers in this year’s index.

China’s score fell to 36 from 40 in 2013, despite the fact the Chinese government launched an anti-corruption campaign targeting corrupt public officials. With leaked documents in January revealing 22000 offshore clients from China and Hong Kong, including many of the country’s leaders, the government has recognised the need to follow officials who hide ill-gotten gains overseas.

So what does this tell us?

Corruption and corruption-resources-corruption-resources-money-laundering are problems in many emerging economies. Just within the BRIC states, this year has seen a major oil company in Brazil (which scores 43) investigated on using secret companies to bribe politicians and questions about Indians (38) and Russians (27) using bank accounts in Mauritius and Cyprus respectively.

The impacts of public sector corruption in emerging economies are enormous. Grand corruption can deny basic human rights create governance problems and lead to instability.

Crucially, emerging markets cannot have sustainable, clean growth unless they do it without corruption.

But that isn’t the end of the story. One of the most important messages from this year’s index is that corporate secrecy and global corruption-resources-corruption-resources-money-laundering must be recognised for their roles in allowing corrupt officials in developing countries to safely hide and enjoy their illicit wealth overseas.

We are calling on the leading financial centres in the EU and US to act with emerging economies to ensure that the corrupt do not get away with it. In recognising that the services provided by cities such as London represent one half of an equation that allows corruption to flourish, a duty is placed on many countries near the top of our index.

These countries – perceived as some of the least corrupt in the world – must ensure they do not facilitate corruption in others and put the clean growth of emerging economies at risk.

UK results

The 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index ranks the UK as 14th, with a score of 78. This represents an improvement on 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.

Encouragingly, the UK has shown real global leadership in tackling global corruption-resources-corruption-resources-money-laundering and London’s role as a corruption services centre with its commitment to a public register of beneficial ownership of companies. With an international corruption-resources-corruption-resources-money-laundering scheme involving 19 UK-based front companies recently uncovered, it is vital that the Government continues to make it harder for the corrupt to transfer and mask their wealth.

We are now eagerly awaiting the publication of the Government’s Anti-Corruption Action Plan, due in the next few months. Our hope is that this will set out the Government’s commitment to a coordinated strategy to combat corruption both at home and internationally.


Read 7011 times Last modified on Wednesday, 11 November 2015 10:07

Scott Edwards

Scott is TI-UK's Communications Officer. You can view his full bio here.

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