Transparency International has launched its latest 2017 Corruption Perception Index (CPI), where Saudi Arabia’s ranking continued to improve, moving up by five places from previous year’s rank of 62 to a rank this year of 57. While the Index reflects on last year, the news comes in the wake of recent efforts by Saudi Arabia to fight corruption in the country, which has seen the country make bold moves including establishing a National Anti-Corruption Commission in November 2017.
According to data released by the global anti-corruption organization on Tuesday, Saudi Arabia’s overall score is 49 out of a 100. Among Arab countries, Saudi Arabia improved its ranking to third in the region and with a higher score than the regional average of 33. The recognition comes at a time of rapid development for Saudi Arabia, as it vigorously pursues its ambitious Vision 2030 agenda.
Top Saudi officials hailed the report, saying that “it marks a tangible result of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 plan and its commitment to accountability and continual improvement”. The formation of the National Anti-Corruption Commission is just the latest move to increase transparency in the country, which involves several government agencies. These include Adaa, The National Center for Performance Measurement.
“We are dedicated to achieving the objectives in the Vision 2030 plan, which includes improving transparency and accountability in every facet of our government, and this report shows we’re making progress,” said Minister of Economy and Planning Mohamed Altwaijri. “Saudi Arabia’s use of The National Center for Performance Measurement (Adaa) to independently benchmark the performance of our public entities is one of many tools we can credit with improving our global standing.”
Husameddin AlMandani, Director General of Adaa, The National Center for Performance Measurement said: “Enabling transparency in government is one of the key reasons Adaa was created, and we are pleased that our efforts, and the full efforts in support of achieving Vision 2030, are showing true progression. It is important for global leaders to establish organizations that help to improve government efficiency and transparency.”
The Corruption Perceptions Index report analyzes public sector corruption perceptions in 180 countries annually and determines how each country scores against one another using a scale of 0 to 100, with 0 indicating highly corrupt and 100 as very clean. The 2017 report found that the global average corruption score is 43, unchanged from 2016.
While the report generally showed little progress in eroding perceptions of corruption, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s score increased to 49 from 46 since 2016.
The drive for greater transparency and improved performance measurement is a key part of Vision 2030, and emblematic of the Saudi Arabia’s desire to work alongside multiple international partners to establish and consolidate best practice across a spectrum of public and private entities.