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New Study: US More Corrupt, "No Room for Complacency"

A new study finds that U.S. corruption has dramatically worsened in the past two years. Also, that Iraq has plunged to the bottom of the list and now ranks at 160 out of 163 countries in terms of corruption. According to highlights from the just-released Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI):

"Countries with a significant worsening in perceived levels of corruption include: Brazil, Cuba, Israel, Jordan, Laos, Seychelles, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and the United States...While the industrialised countries score relatively high on the CPI 2006, we continue to see major corruption scandals in many of these countries. Although corruption in this context may have less of an impact on poverty and development than in developing countries, these scandals demonstrate that there is no room for complacency."

Although the study is interesting, it leaves much to be desired with its recommendations. Emphasis is put on the role of professional societies in policing corruption among their members with sanctions and stronger anti-corruption codes. Professional societies are usually the last to reign in bad behavior, especially if it lines its members pockets. For example, less than 4% of complaints (pdf) filed against lawyers in the U.S. resulted in discipline.

Transparency International, which authored the ambitious study released yesterday, has done excellent research in the past which made the case for the kinds of measures and recommendations which would seriously tackle corruption.


By: Beth Daley
Director of Investigations, POGO

At the time of publication, Beth Daley was the Director of Investigations for the Project On Government Oversight.

Authors: Beth Daley

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