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November 17, 2009 

Transparency International Releases 2009 Corruption Perceptions Index; Calls Overall Results a "Great Concern"

Transparency International today released its annual 2009 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) that measures the perceived levels of public-sector corruption in countries. The 2009 CPI scores 180 countries on a scale from zero (highly corrupt) to ten (highly clean) using 13 sources from 10 independent
institutions. All sources measure the overall extent of corruption (frequency and/or size of bribes) in the public and political sectors of numerous countries.

Transparency International's CPI is a very useful tool for determining the extent and risk of corruption in countries where companies conduct business.

Highest scorers in the 2009 CPI are New Zealand at 9.4, Denmark at 9.3, Singapore and Sweden tied at 9.2 and Switzerland at 9.0. These scores reflect political stability, long-established conflict of interest regulations and solid, functioning public institutions.

Japan and the United Kingdom are both ranked 17th (7.7) and the United States is ranked 19th (7.5)

Not surprisingly, fragile, unstable countries that have been scarred by war and ongoing conflict linger at the bottom of the index. These countries include: Somalia, ranked 180th with a score of 1.1, Afghanistan at 1.3, Myanmar at 1.4 and Sudan tied with Iraq at 1.5. Nigeria is ranked 130th with a score of 2.5.

The vast majority of the 180 countries included in the 2009 CPI scored below five.

Countries experiencing significant declines in their CPI score from 2008 to 2009 were Bahrain, Greece, Iran, Malaysia, Malta and Slovakia.

Countries that improved their CPI scores from 2008 to 2009 were Bangladesh, Belarus, Guatemala, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Syria and Tonga.

According to Transparency International:

Overall results in the 2009 index are of great concern because corruption continues to lurk where opacity rules, where institutions still need strengthening and where governments have not implemented anti-corruption legal frameworks.

Even industrialized countries cannot be complacent: the supply of bribery and the facilitation of corruption often involve businesses based in their countries. Financial secrecy jurisdictions, linked to many countries that top the CPI, severely undermine efforts to tackle corruption and recover stolen assets.

A table showing the complete list of scores of each country included in the 2009 CPI can be found here.

An interactive map showing the scores of each country included in the 2009 CPI can be found here.

Transparency International
is a non-partisan network of more than 90 locally established national chapters aimed at fighting corruption by bringing together relevant players from government, civil society, business and the media to promote transparency in elections, in public administration, in procurement and in business.

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