09 December 2012

Transparency International releases Corruption Perceptions Index for 2012

In recognition of International Anti-Corruption Day on December 9, Transparency International has published their annual Corruption Perceptions Index. The Index rates countries and territories on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be, giving scores on a scale from 0 (highest corruption) to 100 (lowest corruption).

Transparency International writes:

"While no country has a perfect score, two-thirds of countries score below 50, indicating a serious corruption problem. Corruption translates into human suffering, with poor families being extorted for bribes to see doctors or to get access to clean drinking water. It leads to failure in the delivery of basic services like education or healthcare. It derails the building of essential infrastructure, as corrupt leaders skim funds. Corruption amounts to a dirty tax, and the poor and most vulnerable are its primary victims." [1]

South Africa scored 43, ranking it 69 out of 176 countries and territories and placing it among countries with a serious corruption problem.

To fight corruption, it is essential to make to make public spending, contracting, and decision-making more transparent. Civil society must be able to scrutinize decisions to keep politicians and public bodies accountable. Access to information is crucial.

Since October 2012, SAHA has made 16 access to information requests to South African government departments regarding how they address corruption. To date, only two departments have responded.

[1] "2012 Corruption Perceptions Index." Transparency International: The global coalition against corruption.