Corruption Perceptions Index

Vietnam’s result in the 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index

25 January 2017, Transparency International (TI) launches its Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2016, scoring and ranking 176 countries based on perceptions of experts and business people.

This year, Vietnam scored 33/100, ranking 113/176 in the global index. After four consecutive years (2012-2016) remaining at 31/100, Vietnam’s score has finally gone up. Towards Transparency (TT) – the National Contact of TI in Vietnam – believes that this increase, although modest, is a reward for the on-going anti-corruption efforts of the State and the society of Vietnam.

In 2016, Vietnam has indeed made positive steps in improving legal frameworks and policies on anti-corruption: passing the Law on access to information, revising the Law on anti-corruption after completing the assessment of 10 year implementation of this law, incorporating the United Convention against Corruption (UNCAC)’s regulations on corruption in non-state sectors in the revised Penal Code. Moreover, TT recognizes the Government’s continued efforts to ensure effective implementation of international free trade agreements that Vietnam has signed.

However, scoring 33/100 on the scale from 0 to 100, of which 0 means highly corrupt and 100 means very clean, shows that Vietnam has yet to show for a real break-through in perceived level of corruption in the public sector, remaining in the group of countries where corruption is still considered serious. One must note that this result is similar to and consistent with the self-assessment of the Government and with the evaluation of the Commission of Judiciary of the National Assembly regarding the Government’s 2016 anti-corruption report.

Vietnam’s annual CPI result 


slim-line pngKey recommendations 

To bring about more positive changes in corruption perceptions in the public sector, TT recommends the State and the society to implement in parallel a series of solutions, as follows:

To the State:

  • Increase integrity of the judiciary system in order to secure independence of courts and judges.
  • Punish the corrupt strictly and systematically, no impunity for corruption.
  • Continue the incorporation of Article 13 of the UNCAC into the national legislation to ensure participation of the society. The State needs to establish a mechanism for collaboration in anti-corruption between state agencies and non-state individuals and organizations, including the establishment of a regular mechanism for dialogue and consultation between the State, citizens and civil society organizations regarding anti-corruption issues.
  • Develop and ensure the enforcement of regulations requiring companies to do business with ethics and social responsibilities, creating an environment that enables and protects companies doing business with integrity.

To businesses:

  • Apply standards and good practices on doing business with integrity, and encourage their business partners to apply them too, in order to gain competitive advantage in the context of international integration.
  • Increase collaboration with other businesses and stakeholders, support and participate in anti-corruption initiatives in the private sector.

To media, civil society organizations and citizens:

  • Exercise their right to participate in anti-corruption by, for instance, actively contributing to the process of drafting the revised Law on anti-corruption, the revised Law on denunciation and guiding documents on implementing the Law on access to information through forums, seminars, meetings or via media channels.
  • Media and civil society organizations provide knowledge and information to engage citizens in speaking up their demands on anti-corruption. They actively cooperate with authorized organizations to directly recommend anti-corruption solutions and enhance the access to information of relevant stakeholders.
  • Citizens comply with anti-corruption regulations in their daily lives, participate in social monitoring and report corrupt acts upon detection.

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Key information about CPI

What is the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI)?

Launched annually by Transparency International since 1995, the CPI scores and ranks countries/territories based on how corrupt a country’s public sector is perceived to be. It is a composite index, a combination of surveys and assessments of corruption, collected by a variety of reputable institutions.

The CPI is the most widely used indicator of corruption worldwide.

Why is the CPI based on perceptions?

Corruption generally comprises illegal activities, which are deliberately hidden and only come to light through scandals, investigations or prosecutions.

There is no meaningful way to assess absolute levels of corruption in countries or territories on the basis of hard empirical data. Possible attempts to do so, such as by comparing bribes reported, the number of prosecutions brought or studying court cases directly linked to corruption, cannot be taken as definitive indicators of corruption levels. Instead, they show how effective prosecutors, the courts or the media are in investigating and exposing corruption.

Capturing perceptions of corruption of those in a position to offer assessments of public sector corruption is the most reliable method of comparing relative corruption levels across countries.

Further reading on CPI


Full key recommendations from Towards Transparency (TT) to the Government and society of Vietnam

Transparency International’s Press release on CPI

Info-graphic on CPI

Full sources description

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