Bangladesh scored 25 out of 100 points and ranked 13th position from the bottom and 139th from the top among 168 countries in the Transparency International’s (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2015. Bangladesh’s score remained same at 25 compared to scores of 2014, while the rank went down by a position from the bottom, and moved up six positions from the top.
Releasing TI’s CPI 2015 findings through a press conference in its Dhanmondi office this morning, TI-Bangladesh’s (TIB) Executive Director Dr. Iftekharuzzaman stressed that strong political will to fight corruption is a must and institutions of accountability and rule of law must be allowed to function independently and effectively free from partisan influence. Conducive environment must be created for people at large, particularly media, civil society, and NGOs to raise and strengthen the demand for accountability.
Observing that ACC is widely perceived to have been subjected to direct or indirect political and government influence, undermining its independence and effectiveness, Dr. Zaman commented that the level of public trust is low on the prospect of bringing to justice in foreseeable future the key actors in such high profile corruption scandals as, Sonali Bank, Basic Bank, Destiny group, Rana Plaza, and the stock market. ACC for its part is not also believed to have demonstrated the professionalism and capacity befitting its mandate and expectation, he further observed.
According to CPI 2015, once again Bangladesh is the second worst performer in South Asia, better than only Afghanistan, which has scored 11, ranked 166th, the second lowest globally. All other South Asian countries – Bhutan, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Nepal have scored more and ranked higher than Bangladesh in that order. At the lowest position in the global list are Somalia and North Korea jointly having scored 8 points.
Observing that the denial syndrome in a section of the political authority has prevented the prospect of accountability feeding into a culture of impunity, Dr. Zaman commented that people with direct or indirect links with power have continued unauthorized capture of land, forest, river and water bodies and the practice of loan-default.
Countries perceived to be least affected by corruption are: Denmark on top for the second successive year having scored 91 followed by Finland (90), New Zealand (89), Netherlands and Norway (87), Switzerland (86), Singapore (85), Canada (83), and Germany, Luxembourg and UK (81). Other than Singapore, only Japan, Hong Kong, Qatar and UAE have scored 70 or more.
Bangladesh’s upward movement in ranking could be a source of satisfaction if not for the fact that it has happened mainly because all seven countries that could not be surveyed have always scored higher than Bangladesh. These seven countries are: Barbados, Bahamas, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Puerto Rico, Dominica, Samoa and Swaziland.
Launched in 1995, CPI provides international comparison of countries by perceived prevalence of corruption. It is a survey of surveys (12 in 2015) conducted by reputed international organizations. Information used in CPI relates to corruption in the public sector, particularly political and administrative; conflict of interest; unauthorized payment in the delivery of government functions, justice, executive, law enforcement and tax collection. The government's capacity to control corruption is also considered.
CPI is generated on the basis of data collected from multiple reputable sources, and this year's data for Bangladesh were collected from seven sources: Economist Intelligence Unit-Country Risk Assessment, Global Insight Country Risk Ratings, International Country Risk Guide, World Bank Country Policy and Institutional Assessment, World Economic Forum Executive Opinion Survey, World Justice Project-Rule of Law Index and Bertelsmann Foundation Transformation Index.
Bangladesh was earlier placed at the bottom of the list for five successive years from 2001-2005. In 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 Bangladesh was ranked at no 3, 7, 10, 13, and 12 respectively while in 2011 and 2012 we were 13th, 16th in 2013, and 14th in 2014.
CPI defines corruption as abuse of public office for private and political gain. No data generated by any of TI local chapter research is considered for analysis and global rating. The rolling data from February 2013 to August 2015 were used for CPI 2015.