TONGA CONTINUES IMPROVEMENT ON CORRUPTION INDEX

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Country rises from 175th to 99th in three years

NUKU΄ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Nov. 30, 2009) - Tonga is ranked number 99 in the Transparency International’s 2009 Corruption Perceptions Index published in Berlin on November 17.

It is the third year in a row that Tonga is included in the 180 countries that the Transparency International survey for its CPI.

Tonga first appeared in the CPI in 2007 and it was ranked near the bottom at 175 with a score of 1.7. In 2008 Tonga went up to 138 with a score of 2.4, and this year it jumped to 99 with a score of 3.

Tonga established an Anti Corruption Commission in 2007, but since then a permanent Anti Corruption Commissioner has not been appointed.

Highest scorers in the 2009 CPI are New Zealand at 9.4, Denmark at 9.3, Singapore and Sweden tied at 9.2 and Switzerland at 9.0. These scores reflect political stability, long-established conflict of interest regulations, and solid, functioning public institutions.

Overall, results in the 2009 index are of great concern because corruption continues to lurk where opacity rules, where institutions still need strengthening and where governments have not implemented anti-corruption legal frameworks.

The vast majority of the 180 countries included in the 2009 index score below five on a scale from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 10 (perceived to have low levels of corruption). The CPI measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption in a given country and is a composite index, drawing on 13 different expert and business surveys.

The 2009 edition scores 180 countries, the same number as the 2008 CPI.

Fragile, unstable states that are scarred by war and ongoing conflict linger at the bottom of the index. These are: Somalia, with a score of 1.1, Afghanistan at 1.3, Myanmar at 1.4 and Sudan tied with Iraq at 1.5. These results demonstrate that countries which are perceived as the most corrupt are also those plagued by long-standing conflicts, which have torn apart their governance infrastructure.

When essential institutions are weak or non-existent, corruption spirals out of control and the plundering of public resources feeds insecurity and impunity. Corruption also makes normal a seeping loss of trust in the very institutions and nascent governments charged with ensuring survival and stability.

Ranking Regional ranking Score

1. 1. New Zealand 9.4

3. 2. Singapore 9.2

8. 3. Australia 8.7

12. 4. Hong Kong 8.2

17. 5. Japan 7.7

37. 6. Taiwan 5.6

39. 7. Brunei Darussalam 5.5

39. 7. South Korea 5.5

43. 9. Macao 5.3

49. 10. Bhutan 5.0

56. 11. Malaysia 4.5

56. 11. Samoa 4.5

79. 13. China 3.6

84. 14. India 3.4

84. 14. Thailand 3.4

95. 16. Vanuatu 3.2

97. 17. Sri Lanka 3.1

99. 18. Tonga 3.0

111. 19. Indonesia 2.8

111. 19. Kiribati 2.8

111. 19. Solomon Islands 2.8

120. 22. Viet Nam 2.7

130. 23. Maldives 2.5

139. 24. Bangladesh 2.4

139. 24. Pakistan 2.4

139. 24. Philippines 2.4

143. 27. Nepal 2.3

146. 28. Timor-Leste 2.2

154. 29. Papua New Guinea 2.1

158. 30. Cambodia 2.0

158. 30. Laos 2.0

178. 32. Myanmar 1.4

179. 33. Afghanistan 1.3

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