The Transparency International index (published today - 21 February), drawn up by the leading civil society organisation fighting corruption worldwide, ranks 180 countries on how corrupt a country’s public sector is viewed as. In the last year, the UK has moved 2 places from 10th least corrupt in the world to joint 8th.
Drawing on evidence from 13 surveys of business people and expert assessments, the index analysis highlights links between corruption, press freedom and the decline of civil liberties around the world.
Security Minister Ben Wallace said:
I am pleased that Transparency International has ranked UK as one of the least corrupt countries in the world. Our improved position clearly reflects the proactive role this government has taken to combat corruption both at home and abroad.
But we are not complacent and recognise there is more to do. That is why we published the UK’s first anti-corruption strategy which establishes an ambitious longer-term commitment to tackle corruption.
I am determined that law enforcement and the government should work together to drive out dirty money and its corrupting effect.
The UK is making concerted efforts to tackle corruption and published the first UK anti-corruption strategy in December 2017. The strategy contains over 100 fully-resourced commitments to guide government efforts and establishes a 5-year plan to reduce corruption.
The strategy builds upon the UK’s strong anti-corruption drive. The UK: was the first G20 country to publish the details of who owns and controls UK companies; was the first G7 country to undergo an international monetary fund fiscal transparency evaluation; and, in 2017, passed the Criminal Finances Act which established new anti-corruption tools and powers such as Unexplained Wealth Orders. These investigative orders require certain individuals - either politically exposed persons or individuals reasonably suspected of involvement with or connected to serious and organised crime - to explain the source of their wealth, supporting the UK’s effort to tackle corruption.
Alongside the department’s efforts, the Prime Minister announced the appointment of John Penrose MP as the new anti-corruption champion. In his role, Mr Penrose will be responsible for challenging and supporting the government in implementing the strategy, as well as promoting the UK’s response to corruption both domestically and internationally.