TI Index: Iraq most corrupt Arab country, UAE the least
Corruption in large-scale public projects, including in the Arab World, is a daunting obstacle to sustainable development, and results in a major loss of public funds needed for education, healthcare and poverty alleviation, said Transparency International (TI) Chairman Peter Eigen Wednesday at the launch of the TI Corruption Perceptions Index 2004.
TI estimates that the amount lost due to bribery in government procurement is at least US$ 400 billion per year worldwide.
A total of 106 out of 146 countries score less than 5 against a clean score of 10, according to the new index, published by Transparency International, the leading non-governmental organisation fighting corruption worldwide.
“Corruption robs countries of their potential,” said Eigen. “As the Corruption Perceptions Index 2004 shows, oil-rich Angola, Azerbaijan, Chad, Ecuador, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Libya, Nigeria, Russia, Sudan, Venezuela and Yemen all have extremely low scores. In these countries, public contracting in the oil sector is plagued by revenues vanishing into the pockets of western oil executives, middlemen and local officials.”
TI urged western governments to oblige their oil companies to publish what they pay in fees, royalties and other payments to host governments and state oil companies. “Access to this vital information will minimise opportunities for hiding the payment of kickbacks to secure oil tenders, a practice that has blighted the oil industry in transition and post-war economies,” said Eigen.
“The future of Iraq depends on transparency in the oil sector,” added Eigen. “The urgent need to fund postwar construction heightens the importance of stringent transparency requirements in all procurement contracts,” he continued. “Without strict anti-bribery measures, the reconstruction of Iraq will be wrecked by a wasteful diversion of resources to corrupt elites.”
The Corruption Perceptions Index is a poll of polls, reflecting the perceptions of business people and country analysts, both resident and non-resident. This year’s Corruption Perceptions Index draws on 18 surveys provided to Transparency International between 2002 and 2004, conducted by 12 independent institutions.
On the basis of data from sources that were used for both the 2003 and 2004 index, since last year an increase in perceived corruption can be observed for in the following Arab states: Bahrain, Cyprus, Kuwait, Oman, and Saudi Arabia.
On the same basis, a fall in corruption was perceived in Jordanand the United Arab Emirates.
According to the Index, the UAE is the less corrupt state among the Arab countries (ranked 29). The other ranks are as follows: Bahrain - 34, Jordan - 37, Qatar - 38, Tunisia - 39, Kuwait - 42, Saudi Arabia and Syria - 71, Egypt - 74, Morocco - 77, Algeria 90, Lebanon - 97, Libya and Palestinian Authority - 108, Yemen - 112, Sudan - 122 and Iraq - 129. (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)