Top 10 Most Corrupt Countries

March 10, 2020
Corruption in 2019 continues to be pervasive throughout the world and the U.S. had its lowest score in eight years.

Dropping two points to score 69 on The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), recently released by Transparency International,  the U.S. had its worst score in eight years.

The Index draws from over a dozen independent expert assessments and surveys to measure perceptions of public sector corruption in 180 countries and territories. Scores on the CPI range from zero (very corrupt) to 100 (not corrupt).

“Weaknesses in our laws are being exploited by a growing list of bad actors at home and abroad," said Gary Kalman, director of the new U.S. office of Transparency International, in a statement.

"From foreign despots to terror networks, drug cartels to human traffickers, some of the world’s most destructive forces are benefiting from gaps in U.S. law," added Kalman. "Multiple corruption scandals in the last year alone have shown that transnational corruption is often facilitated, enabled, or perpetuated by countries toward the top of the Index, including the United States. Fortunately, bipartisan legislation currently before Congress, the ILLICIT CASH Act and the Corporate Transparency Act, would go a long way toward stopping these interests from using the U.S. as a laundromat for their dirty cash.”

From a global perspective, more than two-thirds of countries and territories score below 50, with an average score of 43. Since 2012, only 22 countries have significantly improved their scores, while 21 have declined significantly.

“Frustration with government corruption and lack of trust in institutions speaks to a need for greater political integrity,” said Delia Ferreira Rubio, Chair of Transparency International. “Governments around the world must urgently address the corrupting role of special interest money in campaign financing and the undue influence it exerts on our political systems.”

To end corruption and restore trust in politics, it is imperative to prevent opportunities for political corruption and to foster the integrity of political systems. Transparency International recommends: 

  1. Manage conflicts of interest.  
  2. Control political financing.  
  3. Strengthen electoral integrity.  
  4. Regulate lobbying activities.  
  5. Empower citizens.  
  6. Tackle preferential treatment.  
  7. Reinforce checks and balances. 
About the Author

Adrienne Selko | Senior Editor

Focus: Workforce, Talent 

Follow Me on Twitter: @ASelkoIW

Bio: Adrienne Selko has written about many topics over the 17 years she has been with the publication and currently focuses on workforce development strategies. Previously Adrienne was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck? which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics and EHS Today

Editorial mission statement: Manufacturing is the enviable position of creating products, processes and policies that solve the world’s problems. When the industry stepped up to manufacture what was necessary to combat the pandemic, it revealed its true nature. My goal is to showcase the sector’s ability to address a broad range of workforce issues including technology, training, diversity & inclusion, with a goal of enticing future generations to join this amazing sector.

Why I find manufacturing interesting: On my first day working for a company that made medical equipment such as MRIs, I toured the plant floor. On every wall was a photo of a person, mostly children. I asked my supervisor why this was the case and he said that the work we do at this company has saved these people’s lives. “We never forget how important our work is and everyone’s contribution to that.” From that moment on I was hooked on manufacturing.

I have talked with many people in this field who have transformed their own career development to assist others. For example, companies are hiring those with disabilities, those previously incarcerated and other talent pools that have been underutilized. I have talked with leaders who have brought out the best in their workforce, as well as employees doing their best work while doing good for the world. 

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