Bhutan corruption perception index increased by one place
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.