Bhutan rises to 24th cleanest country with the score of 68 in the Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), which was released on 28 January 2021. The 2020 CPI assessed 180 countries and territories. The CPI ranks the countries and territories by their perceived level of public sector corruption, on a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean based on expert assessments and surveys conducted by various independent institutions.
In comparison to the 2019 CPI, Bhutan has stepped up by a rank while the score of 68 has been maintained for the third consecutive year.
Denmark and New Zealand tops this year’s index with score of 88 each, whereas Somalia and South Sudan continues to be at the bottom of the index with the score of 12 each. With an average score of 66, Western Europe & the European Union is the highest performing region whereas Sub-Saharan Africa is the lowest scoring region with an average score of 32. The average score of the Asia Pacific region is 45 and the 2020 CPI reveal that the countries in the region are facing challenges in fighting corruption and confronting health and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the Asia Pacific Region, Bhutan’s position has remained the same (6th out of 31 assessed) and this has been the trend since 2012. The region has countries and territories, which are in the top twenties of the CPI like New Zealand (1st), Singapore (3rd), Australia (11th), Hong Kong (11th) and Japan (19th). Further, Bhutan is in the top among the SAARC region.
To construct Bhutan’s score and rank for 2020, four data sources namely, World Bank’s Country Policy & Institutional Assessment; Global Insight Country Risk Ratings; Bertelsmann Foundation Transformation Index; and Varieties of Democracy Project were used as in the past two years.
As a result of the collective efforts of the Royal Government, and above all the unremitting leadership and inspiration of His Majesty The King, Bhutan has made remarkable progress over the years. The rank and the score is the best that Bhutan has achieved since 2006. Notwithstanding the improvement in the ranking, the stagnant score of 68 in the last three years (since 2018) calls for greater efforts to prevent and combat public sector corruption in the country.
The figure below shows the progressive trend of Bhutan’s rank and the score in the last few years:
This is the 15th consecutive year that Bhutan has been ranked and scored by the index.