Bhutan cor­rup­tion per­cep­tion in­dex in­creased by one place

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Trans­parency In­ter­na­tional re­leased its Cor­rup­tion Per­cep­tion In­dex (CPI) for 2014 on 3 De­cem­ber 2014. Ac­cord­ing to the re­port “Poorly equipped schools, coun­ter­feit medicine and elec­tions de­cided by money are just some of the con­se­quences of pub­lic sec­tor cor­rup­tion. Bribes and back­room deals don’t just steal re­sources from the most vul­ner­a­ble – they un­der­mine jus­tice and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, and de­stroy pub­lic trust in gov­ern­ment and lead­ers”.

The CPI com­pi­la­tion method­ol­ogy has been changed in 2012. The new method uses the most re­cent one year data, mak­ing com­par­isons of scores pos­si­ble from 2012 on­wards. A scale of 0 (per­ceived to be highly cor­rupt) to 100 (per­ceived to be very clean) is used for scor­ing of coun­tries.

As per the re­port Trans­parency In­ter­na­tional CPI 2014 has ranked 175 coun­tries/ ter­ri­to­ries as com­pared to 177 in 2013. Den­mark has been ranked in 1st po­si­tion with score of 92 and New Zealand in 2nd po­si­tion with score of 91. Fin­land has main­tained its 3rd po­si­tion scor­ing 89 fol­lowed by Swe­den in 4th po­si­tion with score of 87. Three low­est ranked coun­tries are Su­dan with score of 12, North Korea and So­ma­lia with a score of 8 each.

Bhutan is ranked 30th coun­try with a score of 65. In com­par­i­son to CPI 2013, Bhutan’s po­si­tion has in­creased by one place with an in­crease in score from 63 to 65. Since Bhutan was in­cluded by Trans­parency In­ter­na­tional in CPI rank­ing in 2006, its score has im­proved over the years. Com­par­ing with global and Asia Pa­cific Re­gion’s av­er­age score of 43 each, Bhutan’s score of 65 is sig­nif­i­cantly higher, ex­hibit­ing com­par­a­tively bet­ter con­trol of cor­rup­tion in Bhutan. This makes Bhutan a coun­try where con­trol of cor­rup­tion has seen a high rate of im­prove­ment over the last 8 years. In terms of rank­ing, Bhutan has moved up from 49th po­si­tion in 2009 to 30th in 2014. All coun­tries above Bhutan in rank are de­vel­oped coun­tries. Hence im­prove­ment (in rank and score) by Bhutan in fu­ture is go­ing to be very tough as it has to com­pete with coun­tries with ro­bust anti-cor­rup­tion sys­tems and in­fras­truc­tures.

CPI 2014 has ranked Bhutan above Botswana, Cyprus and Por­tu­gal, to name three coun­tries. Three coun­tries above Bhutan are Saint Vincent and the Gre­nadines, Qatar and France. In Asia Pa­cific Re­gion, Bhutan has main­tained its sixth po­si­tion since 2012. Asia Pa­cific Re­gion has de­vel­oped economies that are in top 10 in com­bat­ing cor­rup­tion like, New Zealand, Sin­ga­pore, Aus­tralia, Ja­pan and Hong Kong.

Ac­cord­ing to press re­lease from Trans­parency In­ter­na­tional “coun­tries’ scores can be helped by open gov­ern­ment […]”. Open gov­ern­ment through trans­parency mea­sures, free me­dia for check and bal­ance and pub­lic en­gage­ment for ac­count­abil­ity will be key to Bhutan’s con­tin­ued ad­vance­ment in fu­ture. More than two-thirds of 175 coun­tries/ter­ri­to­ries scored be­low 50 out of 100. Re­fer Graph 1 and Ta­ble 1 be­low for Bhutan’s trend in scores and ranks.

Trans­parency In­ter­na­tional nor­mally uses data from a va­ri­ety of in­de­pen­dent and rep­utable in­sti­tu­tions to de­ter­mine the score and po­si­tion of a coun­try. For Bhutan, Trans­parency In­ter­na­tional has used four sources, namely, Ber­tels­mann Foun­da­tion’s Sus­tain­able Gov­er­nance In­di­ca­tors, World Bank’s Coun­try Per­for­mance and In­sti­tu­tional As­sess­ment, World Eco­nomic Fo­rum’s Ex­ec­u­tive Opin­ion Survey and Global In­sight’s Coun­try Risk Rat­ings. In ad­di­tion, It also uses business peo­ple opin­ion sur­veys and as­sess­ment (scores) pro­vided by coun­try ex­perts or an­a­lysts. The data from th­ese dif­fer­ent sources are pro­cessed us­ing sta­tis­ti­cal tools and trans­for­ma­tions to ar­rive at the score and rank.

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