"Transparency International Australia is calling on the Australian government to address critical deficiencies in Australia’s anti-corruption laws, as the country falls further on the international Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for the third year in a row.
Today it was revealed that world-wide perceptions of the level of corruption in Australia’s government sector continue to worsen, with Australia’s CPI score falling to 79, down from 85 in 2012, 81 in 2013 and 80 in 2014.
Australia is now ranked 13th out of the 168 countries included in the Index – down six positions since 2012, and joining countries like Libya, Brazil, Spain and Turkey as big decliners over that period...................................................................................
The annual Index compiled by Transparency International uses 12 surveys of expert assessment and views of business people globally. The highest ranked country is Denmark with a score of 91.
TI Australia’s incoming chairman The Hon. Anthony Whealy QC described the continued slide as “the result of inaction from successive governments who have failed to address weaknesses in Australia’s laws and legal processes.
“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.”
As a priority action, Mr Whealy and new TI Australia CEO, Phil Newman, are calling on the Australian Government to commit to enacting long overdue reforms to Australia’s foreign bribery laws before the end of 2016, as a crucial indicator of the country’s seriousness in fighting corruption.
“With Australia’s worst foreign bribery offences having been committed by former or current government-owned entities – the Australian Wheat Board, Note Printing Australia and Securency Limited – there is no excuse not to have implemented all of the OECD’s reform recommendations in this area by the end of the year,” Mr Newman said.
“TI Australia welcomes the Turnbull Government’s move to develop a national Open Government action plan in 2016, and looks forward to working with it on the many issues that must be addressed if we are to improve our corruption perception score and regain leadership on anti-corruption.”
Other key actions identified by TI Australia for arresting the slide in Australia’s global position include:
“TI Australia stands ready to work alongside the government and other organisations to improve our anti-corruption measures and uphold Australia’s commitments in this area internationally,” Mr Whealy concluded.
- A stronger, broad-based federal anti-corruption agency
- Reformed, more consistent anti-corruption and political finance regimes across Australia’s State, Territory and Federal governments
- Strengthening Australia’s anti-money laundering regime and enforcement to ensure public regulators, and key industries like finance and real estate, are not compromised by the flow of dirty money from overseas.
The full Corruption Perceptions Index ranking and regional tables can be found at: www.transparency.org/cpi
If you are interested in the Open Government action plan, see the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet materials.
And get involved with the Australian Open Government Partnership Network, an independent coalition of individuals and organisations like TI Australia, formed for the purpose of engaging with government in this process.