DUSHANBE, September 28, Asia-Plus — Transparency International has released the 2007 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI).

This year, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus and Azerbaijan have shared a score of 2.1 and been ranked 150th in the CPI for 2007.  Last year, Tajikistan was ranked 149th among 169 countries.

The 2007 CPI looks at perceptions of public sector corruption in 180 countries and territories - the greatest country coverage of any CPI to date – and is a composite index that draws on 14 expert opinion surveys. It scores countries on a scale from zero to ten, with zero indicating high levels of perceived corruption and ten indicating low levels of perceived corruption.

The Russian Federation has been ranked 143 rd, while last year, it was at 127 of the CPI. 

Turkmenistan has been ranked 162nd and Uzbekistan has been ranked 175th in the 2007 CPI.

The 2007 Corruption Perceptions Index ranks 20 countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

The report notes that as a problem of global scale, with global roots, fighting corruption demands action on a broad front and the urgent steps include:

-  Developing countries should use aid money to strengthen their governance institutions, guided by national assessments and development strategies, and to incorporate strengthened integrity and corruption prevention as an integral part of poverty reduction programs;

-  Judicial independence, integrity and accountability must be enhanced to improve the credibility of justice systems in poorer countries. Not only must judicial proceedings be freed of political influence, judges themselves must subject to disciplinary rules, limited immunity and a code of judicial conduct to help ensure that justice is served. A clean and capable judiciary is essential if developing countries are to manage requests for assistance in the recovery of stolen assets from abroad;

- Governments must introduce anti-money laundering measures to eradicate safe havens for stolen assets, as prescribed by the UNCAC. Leading banking centers should explore the development of uniform expedited procedures for the identification, freezing and repatriation of the proceeds of corruption. Clear escrow provisions for disputed funds are essential;

- Wealthy countries must regulate their financial centers more strictly. Focusing on the roles of trusts, demanding knowledge of beneficial ownership and strengthening antimoney laundering provisions are just a few of the ways that rich governments can tackle the facilitators of corruption;

- The world’s wealthiest governments must strictly enforce the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, which criminalizes the bribery of foreign public officials. Lack of compliance with the convention’s provisions continues to hinder corruption investigations and prosecutions;

- The boards of multinational companies must not only introduce but implement effective anti-bribery codes, and ensure that they are adhered to by subsidiaries and foreign offices.

The annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI ) , first released in 1995, is the best known of TI’s tools.  It has been widely credited with putting TI and the issue of corruption on the international policy agenda. The CPI ranks 180 countries by their perceived levels of corruption, as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys.