Sri Lanka slides down further in the Corruption Perception Index

Sri Lanka slides down further in the Corruption Perception Index

Widespread corruption affected Sri Lanka most adversely during last 12 months placing the country in the 91st position among 177 countries worldwide with a score of just 37 points, according to the annual Global Corruption Perception Index (CPI) just released by Transparency International (TI).

Sri Lanka slid down by 12 places from last year’s position of 79 scoring 40 points.

Among the South Asian countries Sri Lanka ranks second above India, Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Only Bhutan (31) has fared better than Sri Lanka. In the Asia Pacific region Sri Lanka is ranked number 09th.

Sri Lanka is clubbed together with two other countries – Malawi & Morocco – all with a score of 37 points. The score indicates that these countries continue to have a serious corruption problem in their public sectors.

Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) believes corruption within the public sector remains one of the Sri Lanka’s biggest challenges, particularly in areas such as police, education, lands and political parties. TISL believes that public institutions need to be more open about their work and officials must be more transparent in their decision-making.

“Since Sri Lanka has scored below 50, it is apparent that the country is yet among those who were unable to minimize the level of corruption in the public sector. Thus TISL believes there is a need to strengthen the anti – corruption mechanisms in Sri Lanka,” said S. Ranugge, executive Director of TISL.

In the Corruption Perceptions Index 2013, Denmark and New Zealand tie for first place with scores of 91points. Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia this year make up the worst performers, scoring just 8 points each. More than two thirds of the 177 countries in the 2013 index scored below 50, on a scale from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be very clean).

The Index, which focuses on corruption in the public sector, is conducted by Transparency International , the global civil society organization leading the fight against corruption. The CPI, though perceptional, has been accepted as the most recognized and often quoted international index on corruption.

“The CPI 2013 demonstrates that all countries still face the threat of corruption at all levels of government, from the issuing of local permits to the enforcement of laws and regulations,” said Huguette Labelle, Chair of Transparency International.

“The top performers clearly reveal how transparency supports accountability and can stop corruption,” said Labelle. “Still, the better performers face issues like state capture, campaign finance and the oversight of big public contracts which remain major corruption risks.”

“It is time to stop those who get away with acts of corruption. The legal loopholes and lack of political will in government facilitate both domestic and cross-border corruption, and call for our intensified efforts to combat the impunity of the corrupt,” the Chair added.

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