Is Australia Becoming More Corrupt?

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According to the Corruption Perception Index 2015, Australia has become more corrupt since 2012 as it slid down to the 13th position from being within the top 10 least corrupt countries of the world consistently for years. Its score has fallen to 80, which is far below it’s 2010 and 2011 scores.

The Corruption Perception Index is published by Transparency International, which evaluates 168 countries by gathering assessments and surveying business people to determine the level of corruption perceived in the public sectors of these countries.

“The scale of the issue is huge,” the Corruption Perception Index 2015 report said. “Sixty-eight percent of countries worldwide have a serious corruption problem. Half of the G20 are among them. Not one single country, anywhere in the world, is corruption-free.”

According to the report, Denmark is leading the list of the countries perceived as least corrupt, followed by Finland and Sweden. New Zealand is at the fourth position.

Anthony Whealy QC, the incoming chairman of Transparency International Australia, said that inaction by successive governments to check the rising corruption in the public sector is the main reason behind Australia’s deteriorating condition.

“The delay in responding to these issues has now made reform critical and a commitment to ramp up efforts to tackle foreign bribery, which has particularly impacted perceptions of Australia, is now urgent,” the ABC quoted him as saying.

In 2013 Securency and Note Printing Australia, both owned by the Reserve Bank of Australia were charged with bribing foreign officials for winning bank note contract. Flinders University corruption expert Adam Graycar said that the latest reports have raised concerns that the investigations by the anti-corruption units and royal commission are affecting Australia’s image.

“There is unease in the community about corruption in public life,” the Business Insider Australia quoted Professor Graycar as saying. “The more one does to expose corruption, the more corruption is perceived as a problem, so in some ways, the successes of investigations have tainted Australia in this exercise.”

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