[JURIST] Somalia was once again ranked the most corrupt country by Transparency International (TI) [advocacy website] in its 2010 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) [text, PDF; press release] released Tuesday. The CPI measures the abuse of entrusted power for private gain in both the public and private spheres. Countries are ranked from 10 (very clean) to 0 (highly corrupt) based on survey information collected by independent agencies concerning bribery of public officials, kickbacks in public procurement, embezzlement of public funds and the effectiveness of any anti-corruption campaign at work in country. Somalia ranked at the bottom of the list of 178 countries surveyed for the third year in a row with a score of 1.1, based on the recommendations of country-specialists and business leaders who reviewed Somalia’s data. Afghanistan, Myanmar and Iraq joined Somalia at the bottom of the list. TI chair, Huguette Labelle, expressed her concern that countries that have faced the most instability and conflict continue to dominate the bottom rung of the index. Labelle said:
These results signal that significantly greater efforts must go into strengthening governance across the globe. With the livelihoods of so many at stake, governments’ commitments to anti-corruption, transparency and accountability must speak through their actions. Good governance is an essential part of the solution to the global policy challenges governments face today.
The countries with the highest scores are Denmark, New Zealand and Singapore with a tie of 9.3. The US received a score of 7.1, falling out of the top 20.
Despite the call for greater efforts, there have been improvements since the 2009 CPI report, [JURIST report] including in the countries of Bhutan, Chile, Ecuador, FYR Macedonia, Gambia, Haiti, Jamaica, Kuwait and Qatar. Most notably, Haiti has made a statistically significant jump from 1.8 to 2.2, continuing a steady climb since 2008. However, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Madagascar and Niger have made drops that, according to Labelle, are potentially attributable to the financial crisis that has prevented countries from strictly enforcing their anti-corruption measures. The 2008 CPI [text, PDF] also found Somalia, Myanmar, Iraq and Afghanistan at the bottom of the list. The 2007 and 2006 CPIs [JURIST reports] had similar findings.