International corruption fighting NGO, Transparency International (TI), released its 2017 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) on 27 February 2018. The report revealed some worrying trends for Australian business in the context of perceived corruption within the Australian economy and perceived corruption in places around the world where Australian corporations do business. The report’s overarching conclusion was “… the majority of countries are making little or no progress in ending corruption …” TI reported that Australia has “fallen another two points – from 79 out of 100 down to 77 – reflecting growing community scepticism about the integrity of the nation’s institutions…”
The report highlighted continuing poor CPI performance of several African nations where Australian mining corporations have significant interests. The potential for corruption by Australian corporations and by individuals acting on their behalf in these countries raises the risk of potential for breaches of Australian anti-corruption legislation.
Once again, New Zealand outperformed its larger regional neighbour by being ranked the least corrupt of the 180 countries who participated in the 2017 survey continuing a trend going back to 2012. It is interesting to see the different perceptions of corruption between two countries that, culturally, are so similar in many ways. TI Australia once again made a call for a national anti-corruption body to tackle corruption in Australian business.