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Georgia improves rank in global corruption survey

Thursday, December 4
Georgia’s efforts to stamp out corruption has been recognized and applauded after it improved its position in a global corruption survey.

Transparency International today released results of its 2014 global corruption survey, which analyzed the perceived level of corruption in 175 countries.

Georgia scored 52 points out of 100 in the survey’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), which gave it an overall rank of 50th. – up five places from 2013. The higher the CPI score the lower the corruption, survey organizers said.

Georgia’s 2014 ranking was higher than the previous year when it ranked 55th (score of 49) and in 2012 when it ranked 51st (score of 52).

Despite the positive change, those behind the survey said according to the CPI methodology, only an increase or decrease of the CPI score by four points or more indicated a significant change in the perceived level of corruption in a country. So in actual fact, Georgia’s latest results showed the perceived level of corruption in the country remained stable over the past three years and there had been no significant progress or regression over time.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s score of 52 saw it rank the highest among the 19 countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Georgia also scored higher than a number of EU member states: the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy and Romania.

Among the post-Communist countries, Georgia ranked lower than Estonia, Poland, Lithuania, Slovenia, Latvia and Hungary.

Countries with the lowest level of perceived corruption were Denmark (score of 92), New Zealand, (91) and Finland (89), while North Korea and Somalia had the highest and scored only eight points in the survey.

TI listed some of the reasons why Georgia had improved in the global corruption survey. The country’s efforts to improve its anti-corruption policies included greater transparency of political party and electoral campaign financing, introduction of legal requirements and standards for proactive publication of information, effective operation of the State Audit Office and a transparent system of electronic public procurement, were some of these reasons.

In addition, TI underlined a number of important issues need to be addressed by the Georgia Government in order to achieve further progress and establish an effective system for prevention of corruption.

These included:
• Establishment of an independent anti-corruption body that will have the necessary powers and resources for the prevention of complex types of corruption (including corruption-related crimes committed by high ranking officials);
• Establishment of the mechanisms for the enforcement of legal provisions designed for the prevention of conflict of interest and corruption, including a mechanism for the verification of the content of public officials’ asset declarations;
• Establishment of an independent and professional civil service that will be free of political influence. Establishment of an effective and transparent system for recruitment and dismissal in the civil service that will exclude the possibility of politically motivated decisions and nepotism in this area;
• Establishment of an independent investigatory mechanism for the investigation of crimes committed by law enforcement officers;
• Safeguarding of institutional independence of the supervisory and regulatory institutions (e.g. the State Audit Office, the State Procurement Agency, the Competition Agency, the Georgian National Communications Commission and Civil Service Bureau) and prevention of political interference in their operations; and
• Reduction of the excessively big share of simplified part in public procurement. (