The Transparency International (TI) Corruptions Perception Index (CPI) 2015 has been published. The Index is available here and TI's press release here. The CPI measures perceived levels of public sector corruption worldwide, using a scoring system on a scale from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be very clean), and is widely used by companies when undertaking risk assessments as part of their anti-corruption compliance procedures. Denmark topped the index, with North Korea and Somalia the joint worst performers.
Whilst TI makes the point that corruption is still "rife" globally, more countries improved their scores from the previous year than declined, including the UK. At joint tenth on the list, the UK's rating has improved steadily each year from 2012, when it scored 74, to a score of 81 today.
Four of the five top performers are in Northern Europe (the fifth being New Zealand), although TI notes that such countries do not necessarily have such good records when it comes to the behaviour of their entities overseas.
Countries whose rankings have declined over the past few years include Libya, Australia, Brazil, Spain and Turkey. Brazil showed the biggest decline in 2015, with the Petrobras scandal cited as a reason for this.
Iran has maintained its score at 27, ranked joint one-hundred-and-thirtieth with Cameroon, Nepal, Nicaragua, Paraguay and Ukraine, emphasising the need for care, advice and appropriate diligence when considering market entry.
It is important to remember that the CPI is a survey of perceptions of corruption, not of the actual levels or likelihood of corrupt activity, and does not hold official weight. Nonetheless, in the absence of a more meaningful multi-jurisidional measure of corruption risk it is an important and helpful ABC compliance tool. Companies will wish to ensure that, to the extent they utilise the CPI (for example in the risk assessment of suppliers and service providers) that their procedures are updated to reflect the new results.