Transparency International (or TI) is a non-governmental organization founded in 1993 with headquarters in Berlin, Germany, which promotes measures against corporate crimes and political corruption worldwide. Every year this institution publishes a prestigious status report which describes and analyzes the perception of corruption in various countries and which is regarded as essential reference on the subject. The 2015 “Corruption Perception Index” reveals some important facts with regard to Uruguay.
According to the report, Uruguay appears as the least corrupt country in Latin America. In the regional ranking, which lists 19 countries, Chile appears in the second position, with Costa Rica and Cuba in the third and fourth places, while at the other end of the list countries such as Guatemala, Paraguay and Venezuela are included. In the 2014 report, Uruguay led the ranking as well, but sharing that position with Chile.
At a global level Uruguay appears in the 21st place of the 2015 “Corruption Perception Index”, among 168 countries, ranking above countries such as Estonia, France, Spain and Korea. The world ranking is led by Denmark, followed by Finland, Sweden, New Zealand and the Netherlands, while the last three positions are occupied by Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia, which is considered the country with more corruption in the world. Other American nations that stand out in the global context are Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador and Panama. Uruguay (at 21st place) and Chile (at 23rd) are the only Latin American countries among the 26 least corrupt countries in the world.
Uruguay has also improved its score. The report, which analyzes criteria such as press freedom, access to information about budgets, levels of integrity in public office and independence of the judiciary, among others, envisages a scale of 1 to 100, where 1 is “highly corrupt” and 100 is “very clean”. In the 2014 report, Uruguay obtained 73 points, while in 2015 it achieved 74. Other countries in the region, however, have experienced setbacks, such as Chile (which fell from 73 to 70), Brazil (down five points due to the Petrobras scandal) and Guatemala.
The report by Transparency International also states: “Country scores can be positive when there are open government mechanisms in place.” Such is the case of Uruguay, whose policy of open government and access to information largely promoted by the Presidency of the Republic, Agesic, UAIP and Open Government Group, composed of OPP, MRREE, MEF, INE, Faculty of Social Sciences and the Open- government Network has made possible this international position favourable to the country in such a sensitive issue as the corruption perception index in the public sector from the perspective of entrepreneurs and specialists.