Korea improves corruption perception score for 5th straight year
Korea’s perceived level of corruption in the public sector ranked 32nd among 180 countries in 2021, rising for the fifth consecutive year.
Korea’s anticorruption watchdog, the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission (ACRC), announced Tuesday that Korea came in 32nd place in the latest 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) with a score of 62.
The higher the score and rank, the less the country’s public sector is perceived to be corrupt.
Ever since the launch of the current Moon Jae-in administration in 2017, when the country received 54 points and was ranked 51st in the world, the country's score on the Berlin-based international agency Transparency International (TI)’s CPI has risen each year and its ranking steadily climbed to 45th, 39th, 33rd and now 32nd.
The ACRC explained that this year’s rise may be attributed to the government’s policies that focus on transparency and openness in last year's handling of the real-estate speculation scandal of public officials, in its response to Covid-19 and in other efforts engaging citizens to create a culture of anti-corruption and integrity throughout society.
It cited the government’s enactment of the Prevention of Conflict of Interest Related to Duties of Public Servants following the real estate scandal of public officials to swiftly strengthen the codes of conduct for public officials, as well as conducting a real estate investigation of National Assembly members to end privileges and irregularities prevalent in Korean society through government-wide efforts.
Every year, TI fields assessments of experts and business people to rank 180 countries by their perceived levels of corruption in the public sector.
In the latest CPI, Denmark, Finland and New Zealand came in tied for first place with 88 points, followed by Norway, Singapore and Sweden which all tied with 85 points.
The most corrupt country was identified as South Sudan with 11 points, followed by Syria and Somalia, which both scored 13 points. North Korea was placed at 174th with Afghanistan and Yemen, each with 16 points.
“Korea has made a remarkable improvement based on the CPI released today, getting a record high score and securely joining the better performing group in the 30s,” said ACRC Chairperson Jeon Hyun-heui. “Not being complacent with the CPI 2021 results, and with a goal of making it into the 20s, the ACRC will fully serve its role of an agency overseeing government-wide anti-corruption policies to spread the culture of integrity and fairness across society in cooperation with the public.”
BY SEO JI-EUN [email@example.com]