Bhutan po­si­tion im­proved by three po­si­tions in cor­rup­tion per­cep­tion in­dex

Bhutan Times - - Home - Staff Reporter

Trans­parency In­ter­na­tional ( TI) re­leased its cor­rup­tion per­cep­tion in­dex for 2015 on 27th Jan­uary 2016. Ac­cord­ing to the re­port “The Cor­rup­tion Per­cep­tion In­dex ranks coun­tries and ter­ri­to­ries based on how cor­rupt their pub­lic sec­tor is per­ceived to be. A coun­try or ter­ri­tory’s score in­di­cates the per­ceived level of pub­lic sec­tor cor­rup­tion on a scale of 0-100, where 0 means that a coun­try is per­ceived as highly cor­rupt and 100 means it is per­ceived as very clean. A coun­try’s rank in­di­cates its po­si­tion rel­a­tive to the other coun­tries and ter­ri­to­ries in­cluded in the in­dex”.

The agency has made some im­por­tant changes based on rig­or­ous re­view process to the method­ol­ogy in 2012. The method used to ag­gre­gate dif­fer­ent data sources has been sim­pli­fied and also in­cludes just one year’s data from each data source. From 2012 on­wards, year to year com­par­isons of score is pos­si­ble with this change.

The press re­lease en­cour­ages col­lec­tive cit­i­zenry ac­tion against cor­rup­tion - “cor­rup­tion can be beaten if we work to­gether. To stamp out the abuse of power, bribery and shed light on se­cret deals, cit­i­zens must to­gether tell their gov­ern­ments they have had enough.” Ac­cord­ing to the re­port “re­vers­ing cor­rup­tion is clearly not solely down to gov­ern­ments, but they’re the ones with the largest role and the power to cre­ate en­abling en­vi­ron­ments for oth­ers.” Fur­ther, the re­port high­lights col­lec­tive cit­i­zenry ac­tion “gov­ern­ments need to en­sure real and sys­temic re­form in cre­at­ing bet­ter re­gional co­op­er­a­tion be­tween law en­force­ment to stop the cor­rupt hid­ing in dif­fer­ent ju­ris­dic­tions. Cit­i­zens, mean­while, should con­tinue their calls for change.”

Trans­parency In­ter­na­tional has ranked 168 coun­tries and ter­ri­to­ries. Den­mark has ranked with a score of 91, Fin­land with a score of 90 and Swe­den with a score of 89 as the least cor­rupt coun­tries. So­ma­lia and North Korea with a score of 8 each are ranked as the most cor­rupt coun­tries.

Bhutan is ranked 27th with a score of 65. In com­par­i­son to 2014, Bhutan’s po­si­tion has in­creased by three places while sus­tain­ing its score of 65. Since Bhutan was in­cluded by the Trans­parency In­ter­na­tional in cor­rup­tion in­dex rank­ings in 2006, its rank and score have 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 bet­ter con­trol of cor­rup­tion in Bhutan. It is worth­while to note that Bhutan has sus­tained the score of 65 – close to Euro­pean Union and Western Europe av­er­age score of 67, which is more than 60 thresh­old as score is more im­por­tant than rank. Sixty-seven per­cent of the coun­tries scored above 50 points out of 100.

In terms of rank­ing, Bhutan has moved from 32nd po­si­tion in 2006 with a sharp drop to 49th po­si­tion in 2010 to 27th in 2015. The 26 coun­tries placed above Bhutan fall within the “high in­come” and de­vel­oped coun­tries. How­ever, Bhutan with GNI per capita US $ 2,370 is ranked above other “high in­come” coun­tries such as Botswana with GNI per capita US $ 7,240, Por­tu­gal with GNI per capita US $ 21,360 and Poland with GNI per capita US $ 13,690. Against this back­drop, Bhutan be­ing a “lower middle in­come” coun­try stands out as an out­lier in the fight against cor­rup­tion.

In the Asia Pa­cific Re­gion, Bhutan’s rank has sus­tained its 6th po­si­tion from 2012 on­wards. The Re­gion has coun­tries that are in the top 20 in com­bat­ing cor­rup­tion like New Zealand, Sin­ga­pore, Aus­tralia and Hong Kong.

Trans­parency In­ter­na­tional nor­mally uses data from a va­ri­ety of in­de­pen­dent and rep­utable in­sti­tu­tions to de­ter­mine the score and rank of a coun­try. Out of 13 sources, for Bhutan, TI has used Ber­tels­mann Foun­da­tion’s Trans­for­ma­tion In­dex, World Bank’s Coun­try Per­for­mance and In­sti­tu­tional As­sess­ment, World Eco­nomic Fo­rum’s Ex­ec­u­tive Opin­ion Sur­vey and Global In­sight’s Coun­try Risk Rat­ings as the sources for its CPI. In ad­di­tion, TI 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.

The Anti Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion be­lieves that the cor­rup­tion per­cep­tion in­dex for 2015 rank­ing for Bhutan is a con­tin­ued im­prove­ment. Among oth­ers, Bhutan’s con­stant im­prove­ment may be largely at­trib­uted to political com­mit­ment to fight cor­rup­tion. In par­tic­u­lar, the Par­lia­ment’s rat­i­fi­ca­tion of United Na­tions Con­ven­tion against Cor­rup­tion, the first pi­lot­ing of TI – Anti-Cor­rup­tion Agency Strength­en­ing Ini­tia­tive: As­sess­ment of Bhutan ACC in 2015 and a func­tional Bhutan Trans­parency Ini­tia­tive in place are few man­i­fes­ta­tions of such com­mit­ment. The ACC has re­mains com­mit­ted to at least main­tain Bhutan’s score through proac­tive in­sti­tu­tion­al­iza­tion of ethics and in­tegrity mea­sures in pub­lic, pri­vate and civil so­ci­ety sec­tors based on the govern­ment’s Na­tional In­tegrity and Anti-Cor­rup­tion Strat­egy 2014 - 2018.

Min­is­ter of Eco­nomic Affairs, Ly­onpo Norbu Wangchuk met with the Aus­trian Res­i­dent Co­or­di­na­tor last Fri­day to dis­cuss ar­eas of mu­tual in­ter­est. Among the sev­eral mat­ters of co­op­er­a­tion, Ly­onpo re­quested the Aus­trian Co­or­di­na­tor to con­sider Aus­trian Govern­ment’s sup­port in the con­struc­tion of a 30MW so­lar farm pro­ject at Shingkhar in Bumthang. Ly­onpo said that the pro­ject would need to raise 75 mil­lion US$. Aus­tria has been a main de­vel­op­ment part­ner in the en­ergy sec­tor in Bhutan.

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