UK’s Corruption Perceptions Index Plunge: A Wake-Up Call

UK's Corruption Perceptions Index Plunge: A Wake-Up Call

UK (Parliament Politics Maganize) – According to Transparency International, The UK has dropped to its lowest-ever position in the corruption perceptions index (CPI), which rates countries by experts’ views of possible corruption in public services.

The UK slipped from 18th (out of 181 countries) in 2022 to 20th in 2023, its most down position since the research was updated in 2012. According to the analysis, Britain is seen as more corrupt than Uruguay and Hong Kong.

According to the research published on Tuesday and based on “impartial surveys from experts and business leaders”, the descending ranking overlaps with concerns about possible corruption in awarding PPE agreements during the pandemic. The UK was rated the eighth and 11th most transparent country in the world between 2012 and 2021. However, it fell to 18th in 2022 and then joint-20th in 2023.

Daniel Bruce, the head of Transparency International UK, expressed the findings should act as “a wake-up call for government”.

“The continued fall in the UK’s score shows a country heading in the wrong direction. It’s clear that business leaders and other experts are more concerned than ever about political corruption and the abuse of public office in the UK,” Bruce stated. “We need urgent action from ministers – not just words – to restore much-needed confidence in the integrity of political and public life.”

The total CPI index score awarded to the UK was 71 out of 100 (where zero indicates a nation is perceived as highly corrupt and 100 is perceived as very clean). It is the lowest the UK has ever scored on the index, falling two points in 2022 and nine in 2018.

According to the research, the UK has experienced the most significant five-year drop of any Western European country.

The score is based on data from eight independent and separate sources, including the Economist Intelligence Unit and the World Economic Forum (WEC). “All surveyed experts and business executives for their views on abuses of public office for private gain and bribery in the UK,” Transparency International expressed.

The anti-corruption charity started the scandal around the awarding of PPE contracts during the pandemic and was concerned that “both the UK government’s anti-corruption champion and independent advisor on ministerial interests [had] resigned”.

“The data shows that while perceptions of bribery generally are improving, there are growing concerns over cronyism and patronage in politics, and its effect on the management of public funds.”

Denmark is rated as the least corrupt, followed by Finland and New Zealand. South Sudan, Syria, Venezuela and Somalia are at the bottom of the rankings, suggesting they are seen as the most corrupt. The US is at 24th.

A government spokesperson stated: “Integrity, professionalism and accountability are the core values of this government, and we have robust safeguards to protect our institutions from corruption. Our forthcoming anti-corruption strategy will outline the UK response to strengthen resilience against corruption in the UK and internationally.

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“Our controls over fighting economic crime, including fraud and corruption, remain among the strongest in the world and last year, we announced plans to strengthen our ethics and integrity through reforming business appointment rules, increase transparency and accountability in public appointments, and improve the quality and accessibility of departmental transparency releases.”

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.