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Transparency rank gives Dhaka food for thought

DHAKA -- The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2012 was released by Transparency International (TI) on Dec. 5. On a scale of 0-100, Bangladesh scored 26, and has been ranked 13th from the bottom, the same as in 2011. Counted from the top, Bangladesh has descended by 24 positions to 144th among 176 countries included in the index compared to 120th among 183 last year.

In the same position with the same score as Bangladesh this year are Cameroon, Ukraine, Congo Republic, Syria and Central African Republic. Among seven South Asian countries included in the index Bangladesh's position from the top is 6th. The highest position was taken, like previous years, by Bhutan with a score of 63 — it ranked globally at 33rd from the top. The next is Sri Lanka (with a score of 40 that places it at 79), India (with a score of 36 that places it at 94), Pakistan and Nepal (with scores of 27 that place them at 139). Afghanistan scored 8, placing it at the very bottom of the list together with Somalia and North Korea. It is the only South Asian country doing worse than Bangladesh.

Countries that performed worse than Bangladesh are: Sudan, Myanmar, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iraq, Venezuela, Chad, Burundi, Haiti, Equatorial Guinea, Zimbabwe, Libya, Laos, Angola, Tajikistan, Cambodia, Yemen, Guinea, Kyrgyzstan, Guinea-Bissau, Paraguay, Eritrea, Papua New Guinea, Syria, Congo Republic and Ukraine.

Introduced in 1995, the CPI provides international comparison of countries in terms of perceived prevalence of political and administrative corruption. It is a survey of surveys conducted by reputed international organizations that bring out assessment of business people, business analysts, investors, investment analysts and country experts.

The data used in the index relate to perception of prevalence of corruption and bribery in the public sector; conflict of interest; likelihood of countering corruption from petty to grand; unauthorized payments collected in delivering government functions, justice, executive, law enforcement and tax collection; and government's anti-corruption efforts and capacity to control impunity.

Countries perceived to be least affected by corruption were: Finland, New Zealand and Denmark having scored 90, followed by Sweden, Singapore, Switzerland, Norway, Australia, the Netherlands, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Qatar, UAE, Iceland, Luxembourg, Germany, Barbados, Belgium, UK, the U.S., Uruguay, Chile, and France.

As a part of a continued process of achieving higher excellence in methodology and presentation, TI has changed the scale from the previously used 0-10 to 0-100. Only such sources that provide data allowing comparative picture are considered. No data generated at national level, such as data from TI-Bangladesh's research or for that matter those of any other national chapter of TI, is included in CPI.

To be included in the index at least three international surveys with comparable data on the country must be available, for which the number of total countries included in the index varies from year to year. In 2012 Maldives, for instance, is not included for shortage of surveys related to that country.

The index is produced by TI's Research & Knowledge department and its methodology is analyzed and improved by a panel of international experts in the relevant field. This year's panelists were from the Department of Statistics and Political Science of Columbia University, the Methodology Institute and Department of Government of London School of Economics & Political Science, the European Commission Joint Research Centre, Italy, the Harvard Business School, Dow Jones, and Standard & Poor.

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