Our key takeaway: The scale of corruption is huge, and is unchanged or worsening. According to Transparency International, more countries have seen a decline in their corruption score. Only eight countries have significantly improved their scores in the past five years, and 10 countries have dropped significantly, including high-ranking countries such as Austria, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom. Corruption has a number of negative knock-on effects: it fuels conflict, it threatens peace and security; it undermines defence and security institutions, it erodes state legitimacy; and it hinders governments’ ability to guarantee the safety and security of their populations. In this context, companies have a critical role to play: they can monitor corruption risk levels in the countries that they operate in; they can ensure their own systems and governance structures are transparent; they can use their leverage to encourage governments to tackle corruption; and they can create an environment which welcomes civic action and democratic decision-making.
Transparency International published its Corruption Perceptions Index for 2022 (January 2023) which scores 180 countries according to perceived levels of public sector corruption: