Brunei improves rank in corruption index

|     Azlan Othman     |

BRUNEI Darussalam jumped one place from the previous year to 31st spot globally in an annual ranking of countries deemed to have the least corruption in the public sector.

The country scored 63 on graft watchdog Transparency International’s 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), which rates the extent of corruption in each nation using a scale that goes from zero to 100. Countries graded 50 or below are highly corrupt, while those that score 100 are virtually clean of corruption.

Transparency International said that the latest CPI showed more than two-thirds of countries scoring below 50. The index also shows that globally, most countries continue to fail in reigning in on corruption significantly, the Berlin-based international NGO added.

The CPI, first published in 1995, ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, according to experts and business people. It draws on 13 surveys and expert assessments to derive a score for each country.

Brunei Darussalam’s score of 63, an improvement on its 2017 score of 62, means that it is tied with Taiwan at 31st place in the latest CPI.

Worldwide, Denmark took the top spot with 88 points, while New Zealand ranked second with 87 points. Finland, Singapore, Sweden and Switzerland shared third spot with 85 points, making them among the top five countries in the index list. The bottom countries were Sudan (16 points), North Korea and Yemen (14 points), South Sudan and Syria (13 points), and Somalia (10 points).

The CPI measures public sector corruption including bribery, diversion of public funds, use of public office for private gain, and nepotism in the civil service.

In ASEAN, Singapore ranked first, followed by Brunei. Malaysia ranked 61st globally, followed by Indonesia (89), the Philippines and Thailand (joint 99), Vietnam (117), Myanmar and Laos (joint 132), Cambodia (161). The Sultanate retained its second position from the 2017 CPI.

The index is calculated using 13 different data sources that provide perceptions of public sector corruption from business people and country experts. These include the Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA) of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB), the World Bank Country Policy and Institutional Assessment, the World Economic Forum’s Executive Opinion Survey, and the World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index Expert Survey.