Strong political will is imperative to control corruption in the country
Compared to 2015, Bangladesh has slightly improved its score and ranking in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2016 releasedon 25 January 2017 by Transparency International. On a scale of 100, Bangladesh has scored 26 among 176 countries, an increase by one point compared to 25 of CPI 2015. Counting from below, the ranking has moved up two steps from 13 in 2015 to 15 Bangladesh has been placed at 145th position from the top, slightly by six positions compared to 139th position in 2015. All South Asian countries – Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka scored more and ranked higher than Bangladesh in CPI 2016, except Afghanistan.
Ali Imam Mazumder, M Hafizuddin Khan, Dr. Iftekharuzzaman, Advocate Sultana Kamal, Dr. SumaiyaKhair, and Rezwan-Ul-Alam at the event (From left)
Coinciding with the global dissemination, Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) released the CPI results of Bangladesh through a press conference on 25 January 2017held at its head office in Dhanmondi. Advocate Sultana Kamal, Chair, Board of Trustees of TIB; TIB Executive Director Dr. Iftekharuzzaman; TIB Trustee Board Members M Hafizuddin Khan and Ali Imam Mazumder; and Professor Dr. SumaiyaKhair, TIB Deputy Executive Director were present.
Pointing out that the `global average of corruption control’ is 43, Dr. Zaman said, Bangladesh also scored 26 in CPI 2012, meaning that the corruption situation has remained static in the last five years and a lot more will have to be done in curbing corruption in the country. However, it is assumed that the score of Bangladesh has increased one point considering that its legal, institutional and policy framework have become stronger than previously. Due to lack of exercise, we couldn’t achieve more.
Dr. Zamanstressed 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. He also said that conducive environment must be created for people at large, particularly media, civil society, and NGOs to raise and strengthen the demand for accountability.
All South Asian countries – Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka scored more and ranked higher than Bangladesh in CPI 2016, except Afghanistan.
Dr. Zaman also pointed out that corruption is a global problem and no country or territory has scored 100 percent since CPI started in 1995. According to the findings of CPI 2016, Denmark and New Zealand performed best with scores of 90, closely followed by Finland (89) and Sweden (88). For the tenth year running, Somalia is the worst performer on the index, scoring only 10 this year. South Sudan is second from the bottom with a score of 11, followed by North Korea (12) and Syria (13).
It is also shared in the press conference that due to lack of precise idea about CPI, sometimes wrong clarification like `Bangladesh is corrupted or all the people of Bangladesh practices corruption’- are provided. Though corruption is the hardest impediment on the way of achieving economic growth, poverty eradication- above all sustainable development goals, however its mass people are not corrupted in reality. They are vulnerable and victim only. They can’t be labelled corrupted at all for the corruption of the powerful people and the failure of the leadership of the country and relevant organizations in protesting that corruption.
Citing this year’s CPI, Advocate Sultana Kamal said, “it is comforting that we have slightly improve in terms of ranking and position from bottom. However, we cannot be complacent as we have not reached the satisfactory level yet.”
The CPI scores and ranks countries/territories based on how corrupt a country’s public sector is perceived to be. It is a composite index, a combination of surveys and assessments of corruption, collected by a variety of reputable institutions. CPI is produced by research department of TI Secretariat in Berlin. It’s methodology has been designed by experts from Department of Statistics and Political Science of Columbia University and Department of Government of London School of Economics & Political Science. Scores are validated by the German Institute of Economic Research.
CPI is generated on the basis of data collected from multiple reputable sources (there were 13 sources for CPI 2016). This year's data for Bangladesh were collected from seven sources: Economist Intelligence Unit Country Risk Ratings, Global Insight Country Risk Ratings, Political Risk Services 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. No nationally generated data, including TI or TIB’s research or that of any other national chapter of TI is considered for the CPI. Unlike TI chapters of other countries, TI Bangladesh releases corruption perception index only.
According to CPI 2016, the overall global performance has worsened. About 69 per cent of the 176 countries scored below 50 in CPI 2016. The biggest decliners this year are: Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi-Arabia, Cyprus, Lesotho, Jordan, Syria, Macedonia, Mexico, South Sudan, Chile, United Arab Emirates, Mauritania, Central African Republic, Netherlands, Mozambique, Trinidad and Tobago, Ghana, Yemen and Djibouti. The biggest improvers this year are: Suriname, Belarus, Timor-Leste, Myanmar, Guyana, Georgia, Laos, Argentina, North Korea, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Turkmenistan, Sao Tome and Principe and Afghanistan.
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, 14th in 2014, and 13th in 2015.