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India Ranked 19th in Foreign Bribery Index
Source: asiancorrespondent.com
Source Date: Wednesday, November 02, 2011
Focus: ICT for MDGs
Country: India
Created: Nov 07, 2011

India ranks 19th among 28 countries where public officials have to be bribed when doing business abroad, according to a survey of 3,000 business executives from developed and developing countries.

Transparency International’s 2011 Bribe Payers Index, released today, ranks 28 leading international and regional exporting countries by the likelihood of their firms to bribe abroad. Companies from Russia and China, who invested US $120 billion overseas in 2010, are seen as most likely to pay bribes abroad. Companies from the Netherlands and Switzerland are seen as least likely to bribe.

Addressing foreign bribery is a priority issue for the international community. A year ago the group of 20 leading economies (G20) committed to tackling foreign bribery by launching an anti-corruption action plan.

When looking at changes on a country-by-country basis, no country has seen a change in score of more than one point on the index. India’s score improved the most with an increase of 0.7 over the last survey that was carried out in 2008, but it still remains near the bottom of the table.

The scores based on business executives’ responses when asked how often firms, with which they have a business relationship, from a given country engage in bribery (0=always, 10=never), placed the Netherlands and Switzerland jointly at the top with 8.8. India was 19th with a score of 7.9.

The Bribe Payers Index scores are anchored to the 0–10 parameters of the scale. A score of 0 corresponds with the perceptions of business people around the world that companies from that country always pay bribes when doing business abroad. The 28 countries and territories ranked in the index are Australia, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States. The countries and territories ranked in the Index cover all regions of the world and represent almost 80 per cent of the total world outflow of goods, services and investments.

International business leaders reported the widespread practice of companies paying bribes to public officials in order to, for example, win public tenders, avoid regulation, speed up government processes or influence policy. However, companies are almost as likely to pay bribes to other businesses, according to the report, which looks at business-to-business bribery for the first time.

The 2011 Bribe Payers Index also looks at the likelihood of firms in 19 specific sectors to engage in bribery and exert undue influence on governments:

■Public works and construction companies scored lowest in the survey. This is a sector where bypassed regulations and poor delivery can have disastrous effects on public safety.

■Oil and gas is also a sector seen as especially prone to bribery. The extractives industry has long been prone to corruption risk. Companies operating in oil-rich Nigeria have already been fined upwards of US $3.2 billion in 2010-2011 for bribery of public officials.
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