Left In the Dark: Lack of information on anti-corruption efforts

Multi-country independent reviews find lack of access to information pervasive problem in global fight against corruption

Issued by Transparency International Secretariat

Governments are still not providing enough information on how their fight against corruption is advancing, according to reviews of six countries by independent civil society organisations.

The reviews found a lack of access to information to be a persistent hindrance to citizens' ability to assess their own government's efforts to curb corruption. The reviews, which check for compliance with the 2003 UN Convention against Corruption in participating countries, will be submitted this week to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime in Vienna as part of a weeklong meeting of governmental and UN representatives responsible for enforcement of the Convention.

"We are finding that governments are continually failing to adequately gather and make available data about corruption cases they are investigating or prosecuting. The lack of public data about crimes related to corruption is keeping all of us in the dark about whether or not our own governments are keeping their word," said Vincent Lazatin, chairman of the UNCAC Coalition, the world's largest coalition of civil society organisations united to fight corruption through support for the UNCAC.

Reviews by civil society organisations are undertaken at the same time as official country reviews managed by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. While some countries have chosen to invite non-governmental groups to participate in some way in the official review process, governments under review are not consistently open and inclusive to the citizens of their own countries about the review process and findings.

"We fought for years to have this official review process, and we're very pleased it is now in place. What needs to happen now is for civil society organisations to have a formal role in the official review processes. At this time, concerned citizens are often not allowed to participate in the evaluation of the enforcement their own laws – and that is not acceptable," said Lazatin.

Since 2011, civil society organisations have reviewed 16 countries for compliance with the Convention. The reports submitted this week address Brazil, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Portugal, the United Kingdom and Zambia.

Download the full reports at:



Note to Editors: The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) is the most comprehensive global legal framework for combating corruption. It is a binding agreement ratified by 160 countries on standards and requirements for preventing, detecting, investigating and sanctioning corruption. The adoption of an effective review mechanism at the upcoming Conference of States Parties is essential for the success of the UNCAC.

The UNCAC Coalition was formed in 2006 and is composed of more than 300 civil society organisations in more than 100 countries. Its goal is to promote ratification, implementation and monitoring of the UN Convention against Corruption.

For any press enquiries please contact

Julie Schindall in Vienna
T: +49 176 3042 4004
E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Chris Sanders in Berlin
T: +49 30 343 820 666
E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Support Transparency International

Is Hungary’s assault on the rule of law fuelling corruption?

In June 2018, Hungary’s parliament passed a series of laws that criminalise any individual or group that offers help to an illegal immigrant. The laws continued worrying trends in the public arena that began with the rise to power of the Fidesz party in 2010. What are these trends, and what do they mean for the fight against corruption and the rule of law in Hungary?

Will the G20 deliver on anti-corruption in 2018?

This week, activists from civil society organisations all over the world gathered in Buenos Aires, Argentina for the sixth annual Civil 20 (C20) summit.

Returning Nigerians’ stolen millions

The stakes are high in the planned distribution of $322 million in stolen Nigerian public money.

Three priorities at the Open Government Partnership summit

Transparency International has been at the Open Government Partnership's global summit in Tbilisi, Georgia, pushing for action in three key areas.

Civil society’s crucial role in sustainable development

Key players in the development community are meeting in New York for the main United Nations conference on sustainable development, the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF). Transparency International is there to highlight how corruption obstructs development and report on how effectively countries are tackling this issue.

Comment gagner la lutte contre la corruption en Afrique

Aujourd’hui est la Journée africaine de lutte contre la corruption – une occasion opportunité pour reconnaitre le progrès dans la lutte contre la corruption en Afrique et le travail significatif qui reste encore à accomplir.

How to win the fight against corruption in Africa

African Anti-Corruption Day is an important opportunity to recognise both the progress made in the fight against corruption in Africa and the significant work still left to do.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media