Denmark tops anti-corruption index

Malaysia jumps 10 spots in corruption perception index

"Convictions and recovery of assets are key indicators of success in efforts to tackle corruption; following the spate of high profile arrests and arraignments in court, anti-corruption agencies should bolster investigations and prosecutions that will lead to convictions and the recovery of stolen public resources", it said.

CPI uses a scale of 0 to 100 to rank nations, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean.

Various western nations saw their score drop from 2018-2019, including Canada, France, the UK, and the United States. Globally, New Zealand and Denmark had the highest score at 87, while Syria, South Sudan and Somalia had the lowest scores from 13 to 9.

According to the recently released report on Thursday, Nigeria is now ranked 146 out of the 180 countries considered.

It scored 53 points compared to 47 points in the 2018 index when it was ranked 61 out of 180 countries surveyed.

South Africa's score on the Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International has marginally improved from 43 to 44.

TI said that countries that score well notably have stronger enforcement of campaign-finance regulations - something Switzerland has been criticised for in the past.

In line with the statement, the group also identified several key areas that governments around the globe could concentrate on reforming and thus decreasing corruption in their societies.

Countries where campaign finance regulations are comprehensive and systematically enforced have an average score of 70 on the CPI, whereas countries where such regulations either don't exist or are poorly enforced score an average of just 34 and 35 respectively.

Martin Hilti, Swiss Director of TI said that in 2020 "politicians will have the change to tackle some of these gaps and to bring concrete improvements through a project for protecting whistleblowers, the reform of the money laundering law, and a people's initiative on transparency". "All citizens must be represented in decision making", she added. Twenty-one have significantly declined, including Australia, Canada and Nicaragua.

According to Transparency International, it is imperative to prevent corruption in order to foster the integrity of political systems around the world. Most notably, said Transparency, advanced economies were seen to be sliding in the past year, with Canada, France, the United Kingdom, and the USA all scoring lower than they had in 2018. "Governments must urgently address the corrupting role of big money in political party financing and the undue influence it exerts on our political systems". Germany and Japan have seen no improvement, while Italy gained one point.

Governments should also manage conflicts of interest and address "revolving doors"; regulate lobbying activities by promoting open and meaningful access to decision-making and strengthen electoral integrity; and prevent and sanction misinformation campaigns.

However, the three former Soviet states "continue to experience state capture and a failure to preserve checks and balances", the report says.



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