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Transparency International publishes 1997 Corruption Perceptions Index

An Index of Perceptions of Corruption Around the World

Transparency International (TI) today releases its 1997 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). The index, issued at a time of growing public concern about corruption throughout the world, is based on seven international surveys of business people, political analysts and the general public and it reflects their perception of corruption in 52 countries.

TI is a non-governmental organisation to curb corruption. Headquartered in Berlin, Germany, TI's agenda is to support global integrity systems, both nationally and on the international level. Founded in 1993, TI today has more than 60 National Chapters world-wide.

The 1997 CPI is the most up-to-date and reliable index on corruption so far. Using only data from 1996/7 its figures are more precise than in previous years when the CPI covered a period of several years. Developed for TI by Dr Johann Graf Lambsdorff, an economist at Göttingen University, Germany, the index draws on surveys undertaken by Gallup International, the World Competitiveness Yearbook, by Political & Economic Risk Consultancy in Hong Kong, DRI/McGraw Hill Global Risk Service, Political Risk Services in Syracuse, USA, and data gathered from internet sources directly by Dr Lambsdorff.

Developing countries in the CPI

" The press focuses on the developing countries of the world when reporting on the CPI because corruption is perceived to be greatest there, but I urge the public to recognise that a large share of the corruption is the explicit product of multinational corporations, headquartered in leading industrialised countries, using massive bribery and kick-backs to buy contracts in the developing world and the countries in transition," said Dr Peter Eigen, Chairman of Transparency International.

He added, " Transparency International is not saying in this index that one country is more corrupt than another. We are reporting how business people,political analysts,and the general public around the globe perceive levels of corruption in different countries. We must also bear in mind that many of these businesspeople are a part of the problem. "

To redress the imbalance in how developing countries are perceived, TI had also been planning to publish a survey on active corruption carried out by exporting countries. However, given the difficulty to get reliable data and the high cost involved, TI has not yet been able to publish such an " Bribery Index of Leading Exporting Nations".

The ranking system of the CPI is designed so that countries that are perceived to be the least corrupt are given the highest scores out of ten. No country scores ten, but Denmark, Finland and Sweden have emerged in top place, with New Zealand slipping from its 1996 top scores. For the second year running, Nigeria has emerged in the lowest position and is thus perceived to be the most corrupt country of those analysed for this index.

However, as some countries appear in the index for the first time while others have been dropped owing to insufficient data , scores rather than ranks should be used as an indicator of change. The differences in scores out of ten from year to year have significance, not the comparative places in the country list.

Index Calculations

Research on the Corruption Perceptions Index was led by Dr Lambsdorff who stated that " The index is a poll of polls, putting together the subjective evaluations of business people,political analysts,and the general public. It provides insights into perceptions, which have an impact on how private companies, particularly in Japan, North America and Western Europe, operate in the rest of the world," he said.

Lambsdorff stressed that by drawing on the Gallup International survey, the CPI also included a viewpoint from within countries for the first time. The perceptions of the general public are now also being accounted for. This makes the index less biased against developing countries than in previous years when the index was compiled only from the perceptions of foreign business people, most of them from Western industrialised countries.

Rankings for countries are determined from the diverse results from the seven basic surveys analysed. Only 52 countries qualify for inclusion in the CPI, because a minimum of four surveys was required. " Given that there are almost 200 sovereign states in the world today, it is certain that there are many countries that may be perceived as even more corrupt than those listed on the CPI, but we do not have sufficient information to rank them all," noted Lambsdorff.

Analysis of the actual scores for individual countries shows that in many cases a number of countries had virtually the same scores and this further highlights the danger of relying on a country's rank for interpretation, or in comparing the ranking from one year to the next. This is illustrated by the case of Israel, the rank of which slipped to 15 from 14 on the 1997 CPI, while it achieved a higher score out of ten than in 1996. Malaysia illustrates the bunching problem because its actual 1997 score was virtually the same as in 1996, yet its ranking fell sharply from 26 to 32. " We urge analysts to look at the individual country scores out of ten to understand how business perceives corruption in individual countries," added TI Chairman Peter Eigen.

Corruption Perceptions Index has political impact

The CPI has had a salutary impact on national politics in many countries and is increasingly shaping public opinion. " We know that publication of the CPI has contributed to raising public awareness of the cancer of corruption," Eigen noted. " While some governments rejected the implicit criticism out of hand, others have acted on it, initiating reforms to strengthen their integrity systems," says the TI Chairman, citing Malaysia as a positive example. " More governments should start to react to the perceived level of corruption in their countries," he said.

Dr Eigen called the CPI " a measure of lost development opportunities as an empirical link has now been established between the level of corruption and foreign direct investment." A recent study based on the CPI at Harvard University has shown that a rise in corruption levels from that of Singapore to that of Mexico is equivalent to raising the marginal tax rate by over twenty per cent. A one percentage point increase in the marginal tax rate reduces inward foreign direct investment by about five per cent. " Every day the poor scores in the CPI are not being dealt with, means more impoverishment, less education, less health care," stated Eigen.

Yet, the index also had a significant political impact nationally in a number of countries and was discussed in parliaments around the world as it helped people to focus on the less-than-excellent state of cleanliness of their countries.

How national governments reacted to the Corruption Perceptions Index

Bhutto: " The most honest administration in Pakistan's history ..."

The impact of the index was perhaps greatest in Pakistan. The anger of people in Pakistan over their government's participation in rampant corruption was catalysed by Pakistan's position as second-worst in the world table. Suddenly, this anger became focussed, accompanied by the bitter feeling that Pakistan had " deserved better" from their political elite. The reaction to the index in Pakistan was remarkable: Embassy and opposition party representatives visited TI in Berlin to ask for clarification. Many Pakistanis contacted TI which promoted the creation of a network in Pakistan and made TI a household name (as the extensive media coverage and the 300 leading citizens who crowded out a TI-Pakistan seminar in Karachi showed). Many speakers at this conference stated that the index had contributed to the downfall of the notoriously corrupt Bhutto administration. It was the former Prime Minister after all, who had erupted angrily when the index was referred to in parliament claiming that her's was " the most honest administration in Pakistan's history". Only days later she was dismissed from office by the President who was reportedly influenced in his decision to act by Ms Bhutto's wholly irrational response to the index. Ms Bhutto lost the ensuing elections in a landslide. The new National Chapter is targetting public procurement and working independently with the new government to reduce levels of corruption which have plagued Pakistan's development for two generations.

Malaysia: Index as focal point for national campaign

In Malaysia, the government initially reacted strongly. Prime Minister Mahatir called the index another example of Western " cultural imperialism". He added it was now time to set up watchdog agencies to monitor the West and their export of corruption. However, a serious effort to understand the methodology of the index was made. A delegation of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) was sent to Berlin where the mechanics and methodology of the index were explained to them by TI. The government then started an anti-corruption campaign - continually pointing to the TI index in its public statements and parliamentary debates as the reason why all Malaysians needed to be mobilised to counter corruption. Prime Minister Mahathir saw corruption as threatening Malaysia joining the ranks of the most industrialised nations by the year 2020. The government bolstered both the powers and the budget of the Anti-Corruption Agency. The net outcome: The index is forming the focal point for an official national awareness-raising programme, and is often referred to in the speeches of the Deputy Prime Minister. And TI is a " name" now in Malaysia and present in the media - an excellent precondition for the future work of the nascent National Chapter of TI in the country. Initially viewed with suspicion, TI-Malaysia is now seen as an independent partner in the push to enhance the country's integrity.

Argentina: New anti-corruption push in the provinces

In Argentina, the index was top news for weeks. The public debate even led to a dispute between the government and Poder Ciudadano, the National Chapter of TI in Argentina. According to Argentine press reports, Minister of the Interior Carlos Corach said the TI Corruption Perceptions Index " conveys a lie, is unjust and absurd". He added that the information was all the more irresponsible as President Carlos Menem had mounted " the most formidable campaign to eradicate structural corruption". Hence, it was unjust and arbitrary to speak of Argentina "i n such terms". The President himself insinuated that TI and its members were unqualified. Poder Ciudadano presented a host of sources supporting the findings of the CPI when Luis Moreno Ocampo, its chairman, was called by the Chief Minister of Cabinet, Mr. Jorge Rodriguez, for explanations. Later on, Mr. Rodriguez and other members of government met with Luis Moreno Ocampo, Roberto de Michele and other members of TI Argentina to express the feeling of the government and the President regarding the publication of the index. One of their comments was that the index did not reflect the efforts of the government to control corruption. While on the federal level the problem of corruption goes unabated - despite the government's claims to the contrary -, on the provincial level there is now much real dedication in the fight against corruption. The province of Mendoza is a case in point, where Poder Ciudadano is working to include "I ntegrity Pacts" in all government procurement.

Media contacts :

If you have questions about the CPI then please contact:

Prof. Dr. Peter Eigen

Chairman, Transparency International

Berlin at: Tel.+49-30-787 5908

Fax: +49-30-787 5707

e-mail: ti@transparency.org

or

Dr Johann Graf Lambsdorff of Göttingen University

who headed the research team at:

Tel. +49-551-397298,

Fax: +49-551-392054,

e-mail: jlambsd@uni-goettingen.de

... and in the United States contact:

Frank Vogl,

Vice-Chairman, Transparency International at:

Tel. +1-202-331 8183,

Fax +1-202-331 8187,

e-mail: voglcom@aol.com

... and see "Questions & Answers on the 1997 CPI"

For inquiries in French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish: Please also contact TI in Berlin.

A graphic can be obtained at:

For information about TI National Chapters:

Please contact your local National Chapter of TI.

For further information on Pakistan,
please contact

Mr. Mumtaz Rafee at TI Pakistan

at: Tel. 92-21-453 1070,

Fax: 92-21-453 1072,

e-mail: rafu@ccapak.khi.erum.com.pk

For further information on Malaysia,

please refer to Mr. Tunku Abdul Aziz (TI Malaysia)

at: Tel. +60-5-6852005,

Fax: +60-5-6852006

or contact

the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency

at: Tel. +60-3-255 7136,

Fax: +60-3-254 7895

For further information on Argentina

please refer to

Mr. Luis Moreno Ocampo

at Poder Ciudadano (TI National Chapter in Argentina)

at: Tel./Fax +54-1-375 0398,

e-mail: lmo@ocampo.com.ar

For all other addresses please see: www.transparency.org.

TI Corruption Perceptions Index 1997

Rank Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index 1997 Score 1997 (max 10.00 Score 1996 (max.10.00 Number of surveys used in 1997 Variance in 1997 between surveys

1

Denmark

9,94

9,33

6

0,54

2

Finland

9,48

9,05

6

0,30

3

Sweden

9,35

9,08

6

0,27

4

New Zealand

9,23

9,43

6

0,58

5

Canada

9,10

8,96

5

0,27

6

Netherlands

9,03

8,71

6

0,23

7

Norway

8,92

8,87

6

0,51

8

Australia

8,86

8,60

5

0,44

9

Singapore

8,66

8,80

6

2,32

10

Luxemburg

8,61

---

4

1,13

11

Switzerland

8,61

8,76

6

0,26

12

Ireland

8,28

8,45

6

1,53

13

Germany

8,23

8,27

6

0,40

14

United Kingdom

8,22

8,44

6

1,43

15

Israel

7,97

7,71

5

0,12

16

USA

7,61

7,66

5

1,15

17

Austria

7,61

7,59

5

0,59

18

Hong Kong

7,28

7,01

7

2,63

19

Portugal

6,97

6,53

5

1,02

20

France

6,66

6,96

5

0,60

21

Japan

6,57

7,05

7

1,09

22

Costa Rica

6,45

---

4

1,73

23

Chile

6,05

6,80

6

0,51

24

Spain

5,90

4,31

6

1,82

25

Greece

5,35

5,01

6

2,42

26

Belgium

5,25

6,84

6

3,28

27

Czech Republic

5,20

5,37

5

0,22

28

Hungary

5,18

4,86

6

1,66

29

Poland

5,08

5,57

5

2,13

30

Italy

5,03

3,42

6

2,07

31

Taiwan

5,02

4,98

7

0,76

32

Malaysia

5,01

5,32

6

0,50

33

South Africa

4,95

5,68

6

3,08

34

South Korea

4,29

5,02

7

2,76

35

Uruguay

4,14

---

4

0,63

36

Brazil

3,56

2,96

6

0,49

37

Romania

3,44

---

4

0,07

38

Turkey

3,21

3,54

6

1,21

39

Thailand

3,06

3,33

6

0,14

40

Philippines

3,05

2,69

6

0,51

41

China

2,88

2,43

6

0,82

42

Argentina

2,81

3,41

6

1,24

43

Vietnam

2,79

---

4

0,26

44

Venezuela

2,77

2,50

5

0,51

45

India

2,75

2,63

7

0,23

46

Indonesia

2,72

2,65

6

0,18

47

Mexico

2,66

3,30

5

1,18

48

Pakistan

2,53

1,00

4

0,47

49

Russia

2,27

2,58

6

0,87

50

Colombia

2,23

2,73

6

0,61

51

Bolivia

2,05

3,40

4

0,86

52

Nigeria

1,76

0,69

4

0,16

How to read the chart

The rank relates solely to the results drawn from a number of surveys and reflects only the perceptions of business people that participated in these surveys.
Score 1997 and score 1996 relate to perceptions of the degree of which corruption is seen by business people - a perfect 10.00 would be a totally corruption-free country. Please note the hints on how to compare the two indices in the "Questions & Answers" paper.
Variance indicates differences in the values of the sources for the 1997 index: the greater the variance, the greater the differences of perceptions of a country among the sources.
The number of surveys used had to be at least 4 for a country to be included in the CPI .
© Transparency International & Dr. Johann Graf Lambsdorff, 1997.


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