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U.S. Slips Yet Again In Corruption Index

Congress should strengthen the safeguards against conflicts of interest in all three branches of government and place more restrictions on former government employees seeking to work as lobbyists or government contractors.
(Illustration: CJ Ostrosky / POGO)

(WASHINGTON)—Today, Transparency International released its 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index, and for the second year in a row, the United States slipped in the standings. In 2018, the U.S. dropped out of the top 20 least corrupt nations in the world, falling to No. 22 on the list. As today’s report shows, the U.S dropped even further in 2019, to No. 23.

Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project On Government Oversight, released the following statement:

“It’s disturbing to see the United States fall yet again in the rankings. Unfortunately, it’s not surprising given what we’ve seen under the current administration. President Donald Trump is facing an impeachment trial over his undemocratic attempts to stonewall congressional investigations, and at least one of his advisers has violated an ethics law governing political activity without facing any consequences.

“Yet, Trump’s actions are just the tip of the iceberg. The U.S. faces systemic issues of corruption as well. Agencies like the Defense and Interior departments are heavily influenced by industry lobbyists and contractors, and loopholes in laws governing foreign lobbying allow many influence campaigns to go unreported.

“We must pass reforms to foster integrity in the federal government. Congress should strengthen the safeguards against conflicts of interest in all three branches of government and place more restrictions on former government employees seeking to work as lobbyists or government contractors. Rooting out corruption and increasing accountability are key to maintaining the country’s democratic institutions.”

Media Contacts:Danielle Brian, Executive Director of the Project On Government Oversight, [email protected] or (202) 347-1122; or Caitlin MacNeal, Media Relations Manager at POGO, [email protected] or (202) 347-1122

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Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that investigates and exposes waste, corruption, abuse of power, and when the government fails to serve the public or silences those who report wrongdoing.

We champion reforms to achieve a more effective, ethical, and accountable federal government that safeguards constitutional principles.