Measuring Corruption

                     MEASURING CORRUPTION

  • Due to its nature, the scale of corruption is impossible to measure with complete accuracy. But there are informed estimates available, and Transparency International regularly publishes a number of assessments, surveys and indices which measure corruption:



  • TI’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) is the best known of our tools (see animation above). First launched in 1995 it has been widely credited with putting the issue of corruption on the international policy agenda. The 2011 CPI measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption in 183 countries and territories around the world.



  • The Global Corruption Barometer is the only world-wide public opinion survey on corruption



  • The 2011 Bribe Payers Index (BPI) ranks the likelihood of companies from 28 leading economies to win resources-resources-business abroad by paying bribes.



  • The 2011 Report on Oil and Gas Companies which is based on research conducted in 2010 and is an expanded version of a report published in 2008, rates 44 companies on the public availability of information on their anti-corruption programmes and how they report their financial results in all the countries where they operate.



  • This study analyses the transparency of corporate reporting on a range of anticorruption measures among the 105 largest publicly listed multinational companies. Together these companies are worth more than US$11 trillion and touch the lives of people in countries across the globe wielding enormous and far reaching power.



  • The CI analyses anti-corruption and compliance systems in 129 defence companies around. The next iteration to be published in spring 2015, will cover more than 160 defence companies.



  • The GI measures the risk of corruption in 82 national defence establishments around the world. The next iteration, to be published in spring 2015, will cover more than 130 countries, including all of Africa.


Measuring corruption

  • There are two main types of Corruption  based on its quantum – Petty Corruption faced by common man in his day to day life and Grand Corruption which takes place at higher levels. While the former is based predominantly on duress, the latter is more consensual and is driven by expectations of mutual gain. Out of the two, Grand Corruption is more difficult to measure as both parties have an interest in keeping things under cover.
  • Measurement of Corruption thus far, has been limited to measuring perception of Corruption (CPI). This is an indirect measure of Corruption where a sample of population is polled about their perception of the level of Corruption present in a region or service.
  • Direct Measurement of Corruption is a daunting task because of the cloud of secrecy and fear associated with it. The victims fear retaliation and the perpetrators have a vested interest in secrecy, leading to a quiet burial of the incident. So most often, any direct corruption data is difficult to obtain and its also more likely to be intentionally tampered .
  • Various approaches to measure Corruption directly may be suggested based on how other intractable quantities are measured.  One such model to measure petty Corruption based on Inflation, is discussed below:-

Inflation Model:

  •  As Inflation is measured on the basis of prices of a basket of goods and services, similarly a basket of public services that suffer from rampant corruption may be surveyed on a regularly basis to measure Corruption trends. The basket of services may consists of common services like a) Driving License b) Registration of new Company c) New Vehicle Registration d) Registration for Sales Tax e) Passport Application f) Issuance of ‘C’ Forms etc. .
  • Other models for measurement of Corruption may be built around Exit Polls or Confession Boxes.  Those who have recently paid bribes or are  likely to have paid a bribe, should be encouraged to anonymously disclose their bribes. Exit polling may be attempted discreetly near the places of service delivery.


India Corruption Report

Companies operating or planning to invest in India face high corruption risks. Despite that the government has stepped up its efforts to counter corruption, red tape and bribery continue to be widespread. Corruption is especially prevalent in the judiciary, police, public services, and public procurement sectors. Due to varying levels of corruption and quality of government operations across India, local investment conditions vary between and within states.The prevention of corruption Act is the principal legal framework that focuses on corruption in the public sector. Both active and passive bribery are covered by legislation, and public officials are only allowed to accept gifts of nominal value. Private sector corruption is addressed by the companies Act. Due to low levels of enforcement and monitoring, integrity in all state bodies is lacking, and corrupt practices such as facilitation payments and bribes persist.

Judicial System

There is a high risk of corruption when dealing with India’s judiciary, especially at the lower court levels. Bribes and irregular payments are often exchanged in return for favorable court decisions .As established by the constitution, the judiciary is largely independent, but tension between the legislative and judicial branches is longstanding .Prosecution of corruption can be cited as an example, as any appeals in the prosecution of office abuse by public servants have to be authorized by a minister prior to launching an appeal.

India is a signatory to the 1958 New York convention on the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards , but it is not a member state to the international centre for the settlement of investment disputes(ICSID). Adjunction of commercial disputes is governed by the Arbitration and Conciliation Act based on the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law model.


The police sector in India is susceptible to corruption and can thus carry high risks for businesses. The efficiency of the institution varies across the country, yet, on a general level, business executives report that the police is fairly reliable in protecting them from crime and in enforcing order .Notwithstanding, more than half of companies in India pay for security. Three-quarters of surveyed households in India perceive the police to be corrupt and citizens frequently encounter bribery demands when dealing with officers .

Public Services

The public services sector carries high corruption risks for businesses. Companies are likely to encounter red tape,petty corruption, bribery and facilitation payments when dealing with India’s public administration .India’s economy continues to face constraints in the form of conflicting rules and a complex bureaucratic system with broad discretionary powers .Businesses find the government’s bureaucracy to be inefficient and rather burdensome, and report that bribes are often exchanged when applying for public utilities. Facilitation payments to expedite public services, such as police protection, water supply, and government assistance are also common.

Land Administration

When dealing with India’s land administration, businesses are exposed to high risks of corruption. Over a third of companies expect to pay bribes when obtaining a construction permit . Private property is legally safe-guarded and adequately respected by the government in practice .

Tax Administration

Corruption and bribery present low to moderate risks for companies dealing with India’s tax administration. Few firms identify the tax administration to be a major constraint to doing business in India .However, tax regulations are ranked as the most competitive disadvantage by business executives .Bribes and irregular payments are sometimes exchanged in meetings with tax officials.

Customs Administration

Corruption is a moderate to high risk when dealing with India’s customs authorities. Irregular payments in exports and imports are sometimes exchanged .Businesses find burdensome import procedures and corruption at the border to be among the most significant obstacles to importing. Companies report lower than average regional costs for border compliance, but it takes almost three times as many hours as the regional average in terms of border compliance.

Public Procurement

Businesses identify public procurement in India as especially vulnerable to corruption . Companies report that public funds are at times diverted to companies, individuals or groups as a result of corruption, and that favoritism influences the decisions of government officials. Bribes and irregular payments are often exchanged in return for government contracts and licenses .Four in every ten surveyed firms expect to give gifts in order to secure a government contract.

Natural Resources

Corruption in the natural resources sector in India is pervasive. There is a widespread problem with the illegal mining of sand in India; with the bribery of local officials and police further exacerbating the problem. High profile arrests have been made recently, but the issues remain pervasive.Bribery in the mining industry is a common occurrence.


The three main legal frameworks addressing corruption in India are the prevention of corruption Act, the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act. The prosecution of corruption has proven effective only among the lower levels of the bureaucracy, with senior officials being generally spared .The Prevention of Corruption Act addresses public sector corruption and criminalizes attempted corruption, active and passive bribery, exortion, abuse of office and money laundering . Facilitation payments are not covered by the law. The Supreme Court expanded the definition of ‘public servant’ to include officials employed at private banks, making them liable for prosecution under the aforementioned act .

Civil Society

India’s constitution provides for freedom of speech and expression but does not mention freedom of the press .In practice, the government generally respects these rights .India’s press remains the freest in South Asia, but concerns over lack of access to government information and heavy-handed government censorship under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, are causes for increased concern . Journalists often face charges of libel and defamation when criticizing the political or corporate elite .

Civil society organizations operate freely, but face threats, legal harassment, excessive police force, and sometimes even lethal violence .India is home to a strong civil society sector and academic community; however, foreign monitors and journalists are reported to sometimes be denied visas to conduct research trips on human rights and other related issues .The government is accused of abusing this power under the Foreign contribution (Regulation)Act by denying NGOs access to foreign funding in order to target political opponents . The Modi government has been cracking down on NGOs in recent years, leading to international condemnation .





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