Republica Daily, February 23, 2018
The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) has shown Nepal making a little progress in curbing corruption in 2017.
The CPI prepared by Transparency International (TI) and published on Thursday has listed Nepal on 122nd position among the 180 countries surveyed. Nepal scored 31 out of 100 in the latest report.
Nepal was ranked 131st out of 176 countries in 2016; 130th among 168 countries in 2015; 126th among 175 countries in 2014; 116th among 177 countries in 2013; and 139th among 176 countries in 2012, according to a statement issued by TI on Thursday.
“This year, New Zealand and Denmark ranked highest with scores of 89 and 88 respectively,” according to TI. “Syria, South Sudan and Somalia rank lowest with scores of 14, 12 and 9 respectively.” According to the TI, the best performing region is Western Europe with an average score of 66 while the worst performing regions are Sub-Saharan Africa (average score 32) and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (average score 34).
According to the TI, the index, which ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and businesspeople, uses a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean. “This year, the index found that more than two-thirds of countries score below 50, with an average score of 43,” it said. “Unfortunately, compared to recent years, this poor performance is nothing new.”
In its recommendation, the TI has concluded that activists and media are vital to combating corruption. “Governments and businesses must do more to encourage free speech, independent media, political dissent and an open and engaged civil society,” it said.
Governments should reduce to a minimum the regulation of media, including traditional and new media, and ensure that journalists can work without fear of repression or violence, the report says.
It has asked civil society and governments to promote laws that focus on access to information as such access would help enhance transparency and accountability while reducing opportunities for corruption.
“Governments and businesses should proactively disclose relevant public interest information in open data formats. Proactive disclosure of relevant data, including government budgets, company ownership, public procurement and political party finances allows journalists, civil society and affected communities to identify patterns of corrupt conduct more efficiently,” it added.