Press release 09th Dec 2008

Global Construction Sector Most Corrupt

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Transparency International’s 2008 Bribe Payers Index (BPI), which ranks 22 of the world’s wealthiest and most economically influential countries according to the likelihood of their firms to bribe abroad, has shown the UK ranks 5th best alongside Germany and Japan. The BPI also surveys corruption in different industries worldwide. The Index finds that the construction sector has the greatest propensity to bribe public officials and exert undue influence on government policies and regulations.

9 December 2008 - John Drysdale, Chairman of Transparency International UK said:

“The UK score of 8.6 shows that from the perspective of the private sector representatives who were surveyed, the record of UK-based firms is better than some recent reports have suggested.

“This is a welcome development and suggests that UK companies are responding to an international regulatory environment that is increasingly becoming tougher on foreign bribery and that increased resources for investigation and prosecution are beginning to have an impact.

“However, recent cases in the UK suggest that we should not be complacent. Through our discussions with the corporate sector, we know there is widespread confusion among UK firms about current UK anti-corruption legislation and that many companies do not have state of the art anti-corruption systems. Companies need to improve their systems and, based on the Law Commission’s recent proposals, the swift enactment of a new, up-to-date and easily understood anti-corruption law is vital if the UK is to maintain and improve its record in the future. It is noteworthy that 58 per cent of UK respondents in the BPI survey felt that the UK government is either very ineffective or ineffective in the fight against corruption”.

Chandu Krishnan, Executive Director of TI-UK said:

“The BPI’s finding that the construction sector is perceived as the most corrupt worldwide underscores the value of TI-UK’s long-standing work to raise anti-corruption standards in the sector. We will continue to work with the construction industry to increase awareness and encourage the use of practical tools to tackle corruption.”