Sri Lanka’s score in the Corruption Perception Index remains unchanged as per the 2016 data released today by Transparency International, the global movement against corruption. The Corruption Perception Index (CPI) ranks countries according to the perceived level of public sector corruption where Sri Lanka is ranked 95th out of 176 counties with a poor score of 36. The ranks are based on a scoring system that ranges between 0 (public sector perceived as highly corrupt) to 100 (public sector perceived as very clean).
Asoka Obeyesekere, Executive Director of Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) mentioned that “despite the passing of the Right to Information Act and the adoption of the Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, we are yet to see anti-corruption rhetoric leading to strong action. A legislative reform agenda alone is not enough to put an end to impunity”. Controversies such as the Bond issue, the alleged Australian corruption scandal implicating the President and delays in corruption related prosecutions have raised serious questions about the government’s commitment towards ‘yahapalanaya’ and anti-corruption. Obeyesekere added that “it is often forgotten that the 19th Amendment gave CIABOC (the Bribery Commission) the power to institute prosecutions – therefore beyond the government the public must hold the Independent Commission to account”.
Globally, the data reveals that a staggering 69% of the 176 countries scored below 50 in the 2016 CPI indicating the high levels of perceived public sector corruption prevalent throughout the world. 2016 also marks an alarming trend where more countries declined rather than improved in the overall index.
Denmark and New Zealand are jointly ranked 1st in the 2016 CPI with a score of 90 followed by Finland, Sweden and Switzerland ranked 3rd, 4th and 5th respectively. India has scored highest in the South Asian region with a score of 40 and ranked 79th overall. India is followed by Sri Lanka and the Maldives which are jointly ranked 95th.
The Corruption Perceptions Index aggregates data from a number of different sources that provide perceptions of business people and country experts of the level of corruption in the public sector. The CPI 2016 is calculated using 13 different data sources from 12 different institutions that capture perceptions of corruption within the past two years. (Colombo Gazette)