Corruption Perceptions Index 2020: Main Problems of Georgia’s Anti-Corruption Policy Remain Unresolved
Tbilisi, 28 January 2021: Georgia has been assigned a score of 56 and shares 45th place with Poland and Saint Lucia in the 2020 edition of the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) which was published by the Transparency International Secretariat today and ranks 180 countries.
In the ranking, 100 points indicate the lowest level of perceived corruption while 0 – its highest level.
The fact that Georgia has a mid-level score in the CPI which has not changed significantly for years now indicates that, while the country has made some progress in the fight against corruption (particularly in terms of reducing petty corruption), the problems concerning high-level corruption, which were also highlighted in the 2018 and 2019 editions of the CPI, remain unresolved. The Georgian authorities have not taken effective systemic steps toward the prevention of and fight against this type of corruption. Georgia’s main challenges in this area currently include:
- Excessive concentration of power in the hands of a single political group. The weakness of public institutions, especially the Parliament, in the exercise of their oversight role. The opposition’s being ignored and sidelined from the political process.
- Informal influence over key institutions and a growing tendency of state capture.
- Ineffective investigation of alleged cases of grand corruption and a lack of accountability in the law enforcement bodies.
- Political interference in the operation of the judiciary and the dominance of an influential group of judges in the judiciary, which raises the risks of corruption in the system.
- Ineffective monitoring of political party finance; financing of parties and campaigns by unlawful means.
- Attacks on independent civil society organizations by the government and the pro-government media.
- Government pressure on the media with critical editorial policies, including the pressure on the owners of TV stations, their leadership and their family members. Unlawful obstruction of the journalists’ professional work, especially during the coverage of pre- and post-election protests.
- A lack of an effective system for the prevention and investigation of grand corruption (including the lack of an independent anti-corruption investigative body).
These problems were also highlighted in the Georgian National Integrity System Assessment which was published in June 2020. Based on the study’s findings, Transparency International Georgia, together with a group of independent MPs, submitted to the Georgian Parliament in September 2020 a legislative proposal regarding the establishment of an independent anti-corruption agency.
Georgia’s CPI scores in recent years point to a lack of the will to take more effective steps against corruption on the part of the Georgian authorities.
It is impossible to achieve essential improvement of the situation without significant changes and reforms, including:
- The effective exercise of the Parliament’s oversight role and resolution of the problem of concentration of power, inter alia through the establishment of appropriate conditions for the opposition’s meaningful participation in the parliamentary process.
- Elimination of Informal influence over public institutions and other manifestations of state capture.
- Safeguarding of the judiciary’s independence and integrity.
- Establishment of a free and competitive electoral environment; improvement of the political party finance monitoring system and detection of cases of political corruption.
- Establishment of an independent anti-corruption agency and effective response to the cases of corruption, especially high-level corruption.
- The government’s respecting the freedom and the independence of the media.
About Corruption Perceptions Index
The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), published since 1995, is based on expert opinions of the level of corruption in the public sector. Since 2012, the survey has been conducted using a new methodology which allows comparing the results from different years. CPI is prepared based on the research by reputable international organizations, each containing the assessment of the situation prevailing in various countries with regard to corruption.
According to CPI 2020, the level of perceived corruption is the lowest in Denmark and New Zealand (88 points) and the highest in Somalia and South Sudan (12 points).
Georgia’s score in CPI 2020 is based on the following studies: Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Transformation Index, World Justice Project Rule of Law Index, Global Insight’s Country Risk Rating, Freedom House’s Nations in Transit, Varieties of Democracy Project.