In January this year, Transparency International released its Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2020 which showed Australia's global ranking. Although Australia's CPI score remained stable at 77* – the same rank as last year – it is still well below our nation’s 2012 score of 85.
This year's report highlighted the impact of corruption on government responses to COVID-19, comparing countries' performance in the index to their investment in health care and the extent to which democratic norms and institutions have been weakened during the pandemic.
Priority areas identified in the report – including recommendations on how countries including Australia can reduce corruption and better respond to future crises – have direct relevance for IBAC's work in Victoria.
To support the Victorian public sector, IBAC has identified key corruption risks facing state and local government during emergencies and crises, associated warning signs or 'red flags', and suggested prevention measures to help minimise risk.
We've developed resources that highlight corruption risks during times of emergency and alert the public sector to opportunities to strengthen systems and practices to mitigate them. Government departments, agencies and local councils should review their corruption prevention and detection strategies during times of crisis, to ensure strategies are effective in minimising misconduct and corruption risks that may be heightened, but are also proportionate to the circumstances.
*The CPI ranks levels of perceived corruption in governments across the world with a scale from 0-100; 0 means a country is perceived as highly corrupt and a 100 means a country is perceived as very clean.