1998 Corruption Perceptions Index

Transparency International Ranks 85 Countries in Largest Ever Corruption Perceptions Index

Issued by Transparency International Secretariat



Transparency International (TI) today publishes its 1998 Corruption Perceptions Index. This is the most comprehensive index of perceptions of corruption ever published by the global anti-corruption organisation, ranking 85 countries.

The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) is a "poll of polls" drawing upon numerous distinct surveys of expert and general public views of the extent of corruption in many countries around the world. "The 1998 CPI is a wake-up call to political leaders and to the public at large to confront the abundant corruption that pervades so many countries," said Dr Peter Eigen, Chairman of TI.

He added: "We hope that the publication of the CPI will be an incentive to governments to confront the corruption in their countries. The poor scores received by many countries in the new index illustrates just how serious the global cancer of corruption really is. This has to change."

Mr Eigen noted that, "directly confronting corruption must be a top priority for most national governments and the international organisations concerned with development, economic growth and human progress. The 1998 Transparency International CPI covers 85 countries with the ones seen as having the least corruption obtaining scores of close to 10. Scandalously and sadly there are about 50 countries that do not even achieve a score of 5, and there are numerous countries with a score of less than 3."

TI Vice Chairman Frank Vogl pointed out: "The CPI scores, with their shocking portrayal of so many countries perceived to be home to rampant corruption, will spur Transparency International to be even more aggressive in mobilising initiatives to counter corruption world-wide. Securing democracy, alleviating poverty and human suffering, and sustaining investment and commerce, are inextricably dependent upon curbing corruption in most of the developing nations and across Central and Eastern Europe."

"Our ability to include more countries in the CPI than ever before will ensure that the public discussion of corruption will become even more widespread. Governments that have sought to brush this debate aside can no longer do so, as the whole world sees how their nations rank," said Mr. Eigen.

While the CPI covers a record of more than 80 countries, TI stressed that there are numerous countries not included because there is insufficient reliable data available. "It would be wrong for the press to run a headline declaring any country in the CPI as the most corrupt in the world, because we do not have data on all countries," said Dr. Johann Graf Lambsdorff of Göttingen University, Germany, who is the lead expert advising TI on the compilation of the CPI. "It must also be stressed that this is an index of perceptions of corruption," he added.

"The 1998 CPI shows that corruption is by no means perceived to be a plague confined to the developing countries. Numerous countries in transition in Central and Eastern Europe have very low rankings, while a number of leading industrial countries have scores that highlight the serious corruption problems that they must address," said Peter Eigen.

He stressed that the governments of the industrial countries "have a double responsibility - they must clean up their own houses, and they must forthrightly act to prevent their corporations from paying bribes around the world. These governments must now move with speed to enact domestic anti-corruption legislation to give effect to the Anti-Corruption Convention signed last December by the 29 members of the OECD (the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) and five additional countries."

The Impact of the CPI

TI noted that since its inception in 1995, the CPI has served the constructive purpose of stimulating public debate about corruption. In some countries it has also led to substantive anti-corruption reform. It needs to be emphasised, though, that it can take some time for these actions to influence international perceptions, and be consequently reflected in the CPI.

"Many of the world's poorest nations are perceived to be among the most corrupt," noted Mr. Eigen. "The CPI helps to draw attention to this link and it represents a challenge to leading foreign aid granting agencies to make fighting corruption a key priority. We are delighted that an increasing number of these agencies now see the CPI as a valuable tool and are evolving constructive anti-corruption strategies for developing nations."

In the last three years many leading international organisations, such as the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Council of Europe, the European Union, the Organisation of American States, the OECD and the Global Coalition for Africa have articulated anti-corruption policies, often with TI involvement.

The annual CPI sensitises public opinion world-wide to the corruption issue, influences the policies of major aid agencies and is a factor in the foreign investment decisions of multinational corporations.

 

Country rank

Country

1998 CPI Score

Standard Deviation

Surveys Used

1

Denmark

10.0

0.7

9

2

Finland

9.6

0.5

9

3

Sweden

9.5

0.5

9

4

New Zealand

9.4

0.7

8

5

Iceland

9.3

0.9

6

6

Canada

9.2

0.5

9

7

Singapore

9.1

1.0

10

8

Netherlands

9.0

0.7

9

Norway

9.0

0.7

9

10

Switzerland

8.9

0.6

10

11

Australia

8.7

0.7

8

Luxemburg

8.7

0.9

7

United Kingdom

8.7

0.5

10

14

Ireland

8.2

1.4

10

15

Germany

7.9

0.4

10

16

Hong Kong

7.8

1.1

12

17

Austria

7.5

0.8

9

United States

7.5

0.9

8

19

Israel

7.1

1.4

9

20

Chile

6.8

0.9

9

21

France

6.7

0.6

9

22

Portugal

6.5

1.0

10

23

Botswana

6.1

2.2

3

Spain

6.1

1.3

10

25

Japan

5.8

1.6

11

26

Estonia

5.7

0.5

3

27

Costa Rica

5.6

1.6

5

28

Belgium

5.4

1.4

9

29

Malaysia

5.3

0.4

11

Namibia

5.3

1.0

3

Taiwan

5.3

0.7

11

32

South Africa

5.2

0.8

10

33

Hungary

5.0

1.2

9

Mauritius

5.0

0.8

3

Tunisia

5.0

2.1

3

36

Greece

4.9

1.7

9

37

Czech Republic

4.8

0.8

9

38

Jordan

4.7

1.1

6

39

Italy

4.6

0.8

10

Poland

4.6

1.6

8

41

Peru

4.5

0.8

6

42

Uruguay

4.3

0.9

3

43

South Korea

4.2

1.2

12

Zimbabwe

4.2

2.2

6

45

Malawi

4.1

0.6

4

46

Brazil

4.0

0.4

9

47

Belarus

3.9

1.9

3

Slovak Republic

3.9

1.6

5

49

Jamaica

3.8

0.4

3

50

Morocco

3.7

1.8

3

51

El Salvador

3.6

2.3

3

52

China

3.5

0.7

10

Zambia

3.5

1.6

4

54

Turkey

3.4

1.0

10

55

Ghana

3.3

1.0

4

Mexico

3.3

0.6

9

Philippines

3.3

1.1

10

Senegal

3.3

0.8

3

59

Ivory Coast

3.1

1.7

4

Guatemala

3.1

2.5

3

61

Argentina

3.0

0.6

9

Nicaragua

3.0

2.5

3

Romania

3.0

1.5

3

Thailand

3.0

0.7

11

Yugoslavia

3.0

1.5

3

66

Bulgaria

2.9

2.3

4

Egypt

2.9

0.6

3

India

2.9

0.6

12

69

Bolivia

2.8

1.2

4

Ukraine

2.8

1.6

6

71

Latvia

2.7

1.9

3

Pakistan

2.7

1.4

3

73

Uganda

2.6

0.8

4

74

Kenya

2.5

0.6

4

Vietnam

2.5

0.5

6

76

Russia

2.4

0.9

10

77

Ecuador

2.3

1.5

3

Venezuela

2.3

0.8

9

79

Colombia

2.2

0.8

9

80

Indonesia

2.0

0.9

10

81

Nigeria

1.9

0.5

5

Tanzania

1.9

1.1

4

83

Honduras

1.7

0.5

3

84

Paraguay

1.5

0.5

3

85

Cameroon

1.4

0.5

4

 

Please read Peter Eigen's statement on the role of the CPI.

Notes

1998 CPI Score

... relates to perceptions of the degree of corruption as seen by business people, risk analysts and the general public and ranges between 10 (highly clean) and 0 (highly corrupt).

Surveys Used

... refers to the number of surveys that assessed a country's performance. 12 surveys were used and at least 3 surveys were required for a country to be included into the 1998 CPI.

Standard Deviation

... indicates differences in the values of the sources: the greater the standard deviation, the greater the differences of perceptions of a country among the sources.

The methodology of the CPI

TI has recently been reviewing the impact of the CPI and ways to improve the application of surveys to raise public understanding of corruption. The methodology was discussed extensively by the members of the CPI Steering Committee. One result has been the inclusion of 85 countries this year, compared to 52 countries in 1997.

Dr Lambsdorff noted that the methods used to compile the CPI ensured that no individual subjective perspectives on individual countries entered the system." The data in the 1998 CPI may disappoint some governments, especially in countries where distinct efforts to curb corruption have been initiated. In these cases, we have to admit that the CPI may well not fully capture important recent anti-corruption actions in countries and we encourage researchers to seek additional information, to complement the CPI rankings, before drawing conclusions about corruption in individual countries. This especially applies to countries that are on the CPI for the first time and for which there is not a good base for historical comparisons.

Dr Lambsdorff noted that the 1998 CPI is the product of all data available from the key sources noted below. The data this year cannot be exactly compared with that used in previous years, but, "the sources continue to show a high degree of correlation and, thus the impact of differing samples and methodologies on the outcome appears to be small. Moreover, a strength of the CPI is that it is based on the concept that a combination of sources into a single index increases the statistical robustness of each individual figure."

CPI Sources

The sources used in the 1998 "poll of polls" to establish the new CPI include data from:

  • Economist Intelligence Unit (Country Risk Service and Country Forecasts),
  • Gallup International (50th Anniversary Survey),
  • Institute for Management Development (World Competitiveness Yearbook),
  • Political & Economic Risk Consultancy (Asian Intelligence Issue),
  • Political Risk Services (International Country Risk Guide),
  • World Bank (World Development Report & Private Sector Survey), and,
  • World Economic Forum & Harvard Institute for International Development (Global Competitiveness Survey)

 

Dr. Lambsdorff added that, "the reliability of the new data in the CPI is improved by including only countries that have been included into three polls at the minimum. A minimum of four surveys was used in 1997, but rechecking the data this year and using some historical comparisons convinced us that we had a high level of credibility by just using three surveys and by this means we could include more countries. The idea of combining data implies that a malperformance of one source can be smoothed by the inclusion of at least two other sources. This way the likelihood of misrepresenting a country is reduced."

For further information

If you have questions about the CPI, then please contact:

Dr Peter Eigen, Chairman of Transparency International 
or Jeff Lovitt, at: Tel.: (+49-30) 343 82 0-0 Fax (+49-30) 3470-3912 E-Mail: press@transparency.org 
Dr Johann Graf Lambsdorff of Göttingen University, who headed the research team, at: Tel. (+49-551) 397 326, Fax (+49-551) 392 054

...in the United Kingdom contact: Jeremy Pope, Executive Director of TI, E-Mail: pope@transparency.org

...in the United States contact: Frank Vogl, Vice Chairman of TI, at: Tel. (+1.202) 331-8183, Fax (+1.202) 331-8187, E-Mail: voglcom@aol.com

For enquiries and interviews in French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Spanish, Swedish please also contact TI in Berlin.

Background information on the CPI

TI also published today a framework document explaining in detail the methods used to compile the CPI and the sources that TI draws upon for the annual rankings. It is available at the TI World-Wide Web Site along with a document on Frequently Asked Questions at www.transparency.org

Media feedback to the CPI

The 1998 CPI received considerable media coverage all over the world. In many countries scoring very poorly on the index the response was remarkably constructive, as an article with feedback from Tanzania indicates.


For any press enquiries please contact

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