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UK corruption progress must extend to political ethics

Britain improves corruption index score, although political scandals hinder place in the top 10.


London, 3 December 2013 – The Government’s improved efforts to tackle corruption are reflected in a rise in the UK’s position in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index released today.

The 2013 Index ranks the UK at 14 with a score of 76 out of 100; an improvement on last year’s rank of 17 and score of 74. The Corruption Perceptions Index scores 177 countries and territories from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean) based on perceived levels of public sector corruption.

“The improved UK score reflects progress made on the Government’s rhetoric on tackling corruption. This year the Government has built on the positive momentum of the Bribery Act by taking a strong lead on anti-corruption at both the G8 and OGP Summits, notably committing to develop an action plan that coordinates anti-corruption activity across all Government departments.” said Robert Barrington, Executive Director of Transparency International UK.

Despite this, Britain has still fallen short of a place in the top 10; an achievement managed by fellow western European states Switzerland and the Netherlands, as well as the Scandinavian countries.

A steady stream of political scandals has contributed to the crisis of public trust in the UK’s political system. Transparency International’s Global Corruption Barometer 2013 found that 90% of respondents believe the UK Government is run by a few big entities acting in their own interest.

“The UK should be aspiring to achieve a place in the top ten but there is a risk it will slip down the ranking. We see two principle vulnerabilities in the UK – continued scandals related to politics and parliamentary ethics, and the removal of key corruption defences as outlined in our recent report on local government corruption,” said Barrington.

Corruption Perceptions Index 2013 – International results

Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2013 shows corruption continues to affect societies around the world. More than two thirds of the 177 countries in the 2013 index score below 50 out of 100.

Denmark and New Zealand tie for first place with scores of 91. Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia this year make up the worst performers, scoring just 8 points each.

In Europe, Spain is the biggest mover – dropping ten places to 40 since last year’s index.

The Corruption Perceptions Index is based on experts’ opinions of public sector corruption. Countries’ scores can be helped by strong access to information systems and 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

Last year, Transparency International updated the methodology for the Corruption Perceptions Index. Therefore from 2013 onwards, scores can be compared year on year.

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Read 2249 times Last modified on Wednesday, 11 November 2015 10:07

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