Autumn must be the season for indices, as we have had a bumper crop of them recently. I talked about the Financial Secrecy Index a few posts ago, and then Transparency International flexed their indexing muscles with the East African Bribery Index 2011 – which revealed that the most corrupt country in that part of the world is Burundi, while the most bribery-prone institution is the Ugandan police (bet they paid TI to say that).
On 2 November, TI released its Bribe Payers’ Index 2011 – a rare beastie this one, making an appearance only once every three years, and looking at the supply side of corruption. So just who is paying all these bribes? Well, it’s the Russians, the Chinese, the Mexicans and the Indonesians – and particularly those who fulfil public works contracts, or work in the utilities, real estate or oil/gas sectors. (At the other end of the scale, you could probably give your keys to a Dutch farmer while you go on holiday, and come back to find that he’s mowed your lawn and stocked the fridge.)
Of course, all of this is but an appetiser, an amuse-bouche if you will, while we wait for the Godfather of Indices, the Head Honcho of Rankings, the Big Cheese of Classifications and Compendia – the Corruption Perceptions Index. Should be out any day now; colour me cynical, but I don’t hold out much hope for those Somali policemen.