19 November 2012

Transparency International has announced that the 2012 Corruption Perceptions Index will be released on 5 December – there will be 176 countries in this year’s Index compared with the 182 countries ranked in 2011.

Reports this week of corruption proceedings being taking against Ministers in numerous jurisdictions may in some way reflect an awareness of the reputational implications of the CPI and perhaps indicate that there is some attempt to enforce UN Convention Against Corruption obligations.

The resignation of the Transport Minister in Egypt (112th= on the CPI) following deaths of children when a train collided with a school bus on a rail crossing probably was unrelated to personal malfeasance – unlike the indictment of the Transport Minister in Kosovo (also 112th =) on charges relating to organised crime.

In Russia (143rd  on the CPI)  the Defence Minister has been removed from office despite being a close supporter of President Putin as the media reported his involvement in corrupt property deals involving over US$100m.  In Uganda (also 143rd=) three Ministers were acquitted of corruption charges after at trial ended this week.

In Romania (75th on the CPI) proceedings have started against three Ministers accused of corruption, while in Brazil (73rd) a Minister and close colleague of the former Prime Minister has been sentenced to nearly 11 years for election fraud.

All of which makes last week’s other corruption news involving Ministers, from Australia (8th on the CPI), seem of little consequence. Queensland’s Housing Minister resigned after making false declarations in the Lobbyist register, and falsifying his official diary to disguise that, on a part-time basis, he was continuing his medical practice. Queensland’s Arts Minister has also been found to have made false declarations to the Lobbyist Register.