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Thursday, 29 August, 2002, 09:29 GMT 10:29 UK
Bangladesh tops corruption list
Counting US dollars
Little progress is being made in reducing corruption
Bangladesh has topped the public sector corruption list for the second year running, a survey by the business funded lobby group Transparency International (TI) suggests.

Argentina's economic collapse and a spate of US accounting scandals are signs of the global impact of corruption and lapsing business ethics, TI said in its annual survey.


One must realize that corruption remains appalling

Peter Eigen
TI Chairman
The least corrupt nations were Finland, Denmark, New Zealand, Iceland and Singapore, unchanged from last year.

Britain came in 10th , the US 16th, Germany 18th and Japan 20th, while Bangladesh was at the bottom of the pile of 102 nations.

Sri Lanka was ranked 52nd, India joint 71st with Russia and Zimbabwe and Pakistan joint 77th with the Philippines.

The group, which began reporting in 1993, said little progress had been made in reducing corruption in business and government in developing countries.

"One must realize that corruption remains appalling," said the group's chairman, former World Bank official Peter Eigen.

TI is funded by Western governments and many multi-national corporations and lists Enron's auditor Arthur Andersen as one of its main business benefactors.

Deferring blame

The Bangladesh government has reportedly dismissed the accusation by blaming the previous government, which it replaced in October after five years in power.

"The BNP had nothing to do with this report because corruption was rampant during the Awami League rule," Law Minister Moudud Ahmed, a senior minister of Prime Minister Khaleda Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) led coalition, told domestic newspaper The News Today.

The BNP used last year's TI report as part of its election campaign and promised a crusade against corruption and misrule if it was voted into power.

Corruption increasing

The Berlin-based group said 70% of the 102 countries surveyed for its 2002 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) scored less than half-marks, a clear deterioration from last year.

TI's Bribe Payers Index, published earlier this year, showed businesses in top exporting countries were fuelling corrupt politicians in the developing world.

The survey revealed high levels of bribery by firms from Russia, China, Taiwan and South Korea, closely followed by Italy, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Japan, the US and France.

The corruption survey did not include Afghanistan and many Middle Eastern and North Africa countries due to lack of data.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Jeremy Pope, Transparency Intl
"The survey showed quite clearly that Bangladesh is corrupt from top to bottom"
See also:

14 May 02 | Business
15 Oct 01 | Business
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