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Global Integrity Report 2009 - Key Findings

Global Integrity
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Global Integrity

The Global Integrity Report: 2009 covers developed countries such as the United States and South Korea as well as dozens of the world’s emerging markets and developing nations, from Azerbaijan and China to Lebanon and Vietnam. Rather than measure perceptions of corruption, the report assesses the accountability mechanisms and transparency measures in place (or not) to prevent corruption through more than 300 “Integrity Indicators” as well as journalistic reporting of corruption. Gaps in those safeguards suggest where corruption is more likely to occur.


Major findings of the report include the following:
  • Performance on anti-corruption efforts in the U.S. has not improved significantly with the election of Barack Obama. The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision to allow greater levels of corporate and union spending on election advertising will likely drive down future scores for the U.S., Global Integrity predicts.
  • China has begun to demonstrate modest improvement on anti-corruption efforts, though significant challenges remain. Changes to the way in which Chinese state-owned enterprises are audited led to China being dropped from Global Integrity’s “Grand Corruption Watch List.”
  • Foreign aid may not help anti-corruption enforcement in aid-dependent countries. Two countries exhibiting the largest “implementation gaps” in 2009 – the gap between anti-corruption laws on the books and the actual enforcement of those laws – were Uganda and Bosnia and Herzegovina, nations that still depend significantly on foreign aid and assistance.
  • Several lower- and middle-income countries experienced gains, including Mexico and Sierra Leone. This reinforces the fact that high income levels are not a prerequisite for good governance. • Ukraine was the only country covered in 2009 to experience a significant decline in anti- corruption performance. Of particular ongoing concern is the near-absence of conflicts of interest regulations for senior officials within the executive, legislative, and judicial branches.
  • Vietnam has failed to improve its anti-corruption architecture despite the continued inflow of foreign investment. The country remains one of the weakest on anti-corruption ever assessed.