NEWS

Corruption Index 2020 Shows Nations Struggling To Combat it

While the Asia Pacific region is diverse in both size and scale, most countries still struggle to improve their anti-corruption efforts. Some bright spots exist where countries have made substantial gains to build integrity.
30 Jan 2021 14:18
Corruption Index 2020 Shows Nations Struggling To Combat it

The Corruption Perception Index 2020 that was released on the 28th of January shows an average score of 45 in the Asia Pacific Region.

The region is struggling to combat corruption.

 

New Zealand

The affirming news for the Pacific region is that New Zealand has again topped the Corruption Perceptions Index.

The New Zealand public sector and judiciary has again been ranked the least corrupt in the world. Transparency International ranked New Zealand first equal with Denmark, with a score of 88 out of 100. This score reflected a one-point improvement from 2019.

“It is great to see that the integrity of New Zealand’s public service has again kept us at the top of the Corruption Perceptions Index. This is a formidable achievement,” says Anne Tolley, chair of Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ).

“Doing the things that make it possible to maintain this position over time has been good for our economy and good for our democracy. It is hard won, but easily lost, as can be seen from the ranking of other countries. We can’t be complacent.”

 

Pacific CPI

While the Asia Pacific region is diverse in both size and scale, most countries still struggle to improve their anti-corruption efforts. Some bright spots exist where countries have made substantial gains to build integrity.

After decades of tireless efforts, Papua New Guinea (PNG) celebrated a huge victory in 2020 with the passing of legislation to establish an anti-corruption commission.

Similarly, the Solomon Islands appointed the first ever director general of its national anti-corruption commission, which can now focus on recruiting and training staff to get up and running.

In some Pacific countries, COVID-19 and Cyclone Harold exposed several cracks in already weak governance systems. Civil society actors and allies across Vanuatu, PNG and the Solomon Islands called for greater transparency and accountability in the COVID-19 response.

In PNG, civil society demanded an audit of emergency funds and procurement to ensure an inclusive process.

In the Solomon Islands, little progress has been made since the passing of the 2018 anti-corruption law and, in 2020, key government actors were accused of diverting funds intended to help people struggling during the pandemic.

The Solomon Islands recently announced the intention to ban Facebook, under the guise of preventing the spread of misinformation and to the dismay of the public.

 

Vanuatu

With a score of 43, Vanuatu remains stagnant on the CPI. Highly vulnerable to the impact of natural disasters, it was hit the hardest by Cyclone Harold at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since its independence in 1980, Vanuatu has been politically volatile, with frequent motions of no confidence filed against the Government.

The former Prime Minister Charlot Salwai was the first to complete a full four-year term in office in more than a decade. Political instability has contributed to an environment rife with bribery, nepotism and misappropriation of funds.

In a positive development, the country is taking steps to engage citizens in public service delivery with the aim of improving efficiency and effectiveness.

However, implementation of the necessary legal, policy and other anti-corruption frameworks remains a challenge. For example, difficulties with the implementation of a right to information law highlight concerns over timely fulfilment of information requests.

In Vanuatu, strong political will is one of the most important factors in addressing corruption and improving transparency and accountability.

 

Fiji

CLCT Integrity Fiji is working with Transparency International New Zealand with support from the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to have Fiji included in the CPI. The CPI is a compilation of various international surveys developed by prestigious institutions like the World Bank, the Economist, and the World Economic Forum to name a few.

In order to include a country into the CPI, there is a need to have a minimum of three sources (surveys). Only then can Transparency International include a country into the CPI.

Fiji has only featured in two of them and not in the required minimum of three. This is the only reason why Fiji as well as other countries do not appear.

Integrity Fiji is working with Transparency International New Zealand and the TI Asia Pacific Office, to encourage the inclusion of Fiji in more of the surveys from which the CPI is drawn.

This will enable the inclusion of Fiji in the CPI in the future.

Feedback:  rosi.doviverata@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



Fijisun Ad Space


Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.


By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.


Tower Insurance
Advertise here
Covid 19 - SPC
Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper