Transparency International ("TI") released its Corruption Perception Index 2012 ("CPI 2012") earlier today. The Corruption Perception Index ranks countries based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be. The index, which reflects the views of observers from around the world, offers a yearly snapshot of the problem of corruption by ranking countries from all over the globe. The index covers issues such as free access to information, bribery of public officials, kickbacks in public procurement, and the enforcement of anti-corruption laws.

The CPI 2012 which is available at: http://cpi.transparency.org/cpi2012/results/ ranks 176 countries.

  1. Results

Two-thirds of the countries scored below 50 on a scale from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be very clean). Denmark, Finland and New Zealand share the first place ranking by scoring 90 each. Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia are ranked at the bottom of the index and thus perceived as highly corrupt.

According to TI, underperformers in particular should focus on implementing better rules for lobbying and political financing, making public spending and contracting more transparent and making public bodies more accountable. A selection of countries in CE and CEE are ranked as follows:

Click here to view table.

It is remarkable that Austria is ranked nine places below its result in the previous year. This development might be interpreted against the background of various in-vestigations currently being conducted against politically-exposed persons for sus-pected corruption. It remains to be seen whether the entry into force of a new anti-corruption amendment as of 1 January 2013 will have a positive impact on Austria’s ranking next year. In general, the rankings of CEE countries are worse than in 2011.

  1. Conclusion

The CPI 2012 shows that corruption continues to ravage societies around the world. Some countries managed to improve their results, based on reforms of their anti-corruption laws and their institutions aimed at preventing and combating corrup-tion. The CPI 2012 however also signals that many of the countries where citizens challenged their leaders to stop corruption have actually seen their positions in the index stagnate or worsen.

The results of the CPI 2012 should therefore encourage countries to further streng-then their anti-corruption frameworks and to foresee the robust enforcement of regulations also in relation to political figures. In addition, the results indicate the importance of prevention. Schoenherr’s work in servicing the private sector in the area of anti-corruption and compliance thus receives new stimulus.