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Ceturtdiena 09.04.2020 | Name days: Valērija, Žubīte

Delna: Latvia is not doing well with corruption prevention

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Moneyval, corruption, Latvia, DelnaFor years Latvia’s position has stagnated in the Global Anti-Corruption Coalition Transparency International composed Corruption Perception Index because our country is not doing well with corruption prevention, said Society for Openness Delna director Liene Gātere in an interview to Latvijas Radio on Tuesday, 28 January.

According to her, Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) has been rather active lately, but the cases are very slow to reach a resolution, which creates the impression of lawlessness when it comes to corruption.

To accomplish an upgrade for Latvia’s position, the state needs to work harder on preventive measures and raising public awareness about corruption risks to lower tolerance towards such crimes, adds Delna’s head.

Gātere would like Latvia’s score to reach 70 points instead of the current 56, which is an ambitious goal, but not impossible if we look at Latvia’s neighbours. Latvia’s overall experience with Moneyval recommendations shows – if there is political will, it is possible to achieve progress.

As previously reported, in the Corruption Perception Index for 2019 Latvia’s positions have worsened slightly. Latvia’s score was 56 out of 100. The score of countries ranges from 0 to 100, where zero means there is high corruption perception in the country and 100 means there is no corruption whatsoever.

Latvia’s score was 58 in 2018, which put the country on 41st place among 180 other countries. In the latest index Latvia shares 44th – 47th place with Costa Rica, Czech Republic and Georgia.

Lithuania has 60 points in the index and shares 35th – 38th place with Brunei, Israel and Slovenia. Estonia – like Ireland – has 74 points and shares 18th – 19th place with the country. Both Lithuania and Estonia have received one point more than they had in the previous year.

Denmark and New Zealand have the highest score: the two share 1st – 2nd place with 87 points. The two were leaders in previous year’s index, too. Finland (86 points) was in 3rd place, followed by Singapore and Switzerland (85 points for both), Norway (84 points), Netherlands (82 points). The TOP 10 concludes with Germany and Luxembourg (80 points for both).

Belarus, Montenegro and Senegal share 66th – 69th place with 45 points each Russia, Dominican Republic, Kenya, Liberia, Mauritania, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay share 137th – 145th place with 28 points.

Somalia is last (180th) with 9 points. Other last-runners are South Sudan (12 points), Syria (13 points) and Yemen (15 points).

Delna director Gātere had previously mentioned that Latvia’s drop in the Corruption Perception Index in 2019 is a sign of serious political corruption risks.

She mentioned that Latvia’s stagnating tendency is opposite to the government’s goal for the country to accomplish better results than Estonia and Lithuania in 2022.

To accomplish progress, Delna urges the government and the Saeima to adopt international recommendations in 2020 and enhance political honesty, as well as continue improving the efficiency of the judicial system and management of public procurements by including society in their monitoring.

According to Delna, it is necessary to enhance state institutions’ internal honesty and control systems to push out corruption. It is also necessary to improve prevention of conflicts of interest and expand their management system by also hiring freelance and unpaid advisors. To improve transparency of the decision-making process, it is necessary to adopt comprehensive regulation for lobbying, providing lobbyists with equal game rules.

Read also: Delna: accessibility of databases important for corruption prevention is too limited

According to Delna, which is a Transparency International partner in Latvia, corruption perception index is the most widely used corruption level index in the world. It combines data from different sources to reflect businessmen’s and experts’ corruption level perception in state administration.

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