BY NANORE BARSOUMIAN
From The Armenian Weekly
BOSTON—Transparency International released the 2011 Corruption Perceptions Index on Dec. 1. The index measures perceived levels of public sector corruption in 183 countries, which receive scores between 0 (highly corrupt) and 10 (very clean). Armenia scored 2.6, ranking 129th.
Armenia shared its rank and score with Syria, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, and the Philippines. As for Armenia’s neighbors: Turkey ranked 61 with a score of 4.2; Georgia’s 4.1 score ranked it 64; Azerbaijan, on the other hand, ranked 143 with a score of 2.4.
Armenia ranked 12th (out of 19 ranks) among Eastern European and Central Asian countries. Turkey and Georgia ranked 1st and 2nd, respectively; while Azerbaijan came in 13th.
The index report explains that the use of “perceptions” as a key indicator is necessary because corruption occurs behind the curtain, and “over time, perceptions have proved to be a reliable estimate of corruption.”
New Zealand ranked the least corrupt, closely followed by Denmark and Finland; while Somalia and North Korea came in last.
“This year we have seen corruption on protestors’ banners be they rich or poor. Whether in a Europe hit by debt crisis or an Arab world starting a new political era, leaders must heed the demands for better government,” Huguette Labelle, Chair of Transparency International, was quoted as saying.
Transparency International defines corruption as “the abuse of entrusted power for private gain.”
The index relied on data from 17 surveys that monitored laws, bribery of public officials, embezzlement of public funds, and access to information, among many other factors. To determine Armenia’s 2.6 score (with a confidence range of 2.4-2.9), the index relied on eight sources. Two thirds of countries ranked by the index scored less than 5.
Click here to view the index.