2 April 2012
Washington, DC — Regardless of how weak or sophisticated their political financing regulations are, countries around the world are equally failing to effectively regulate the flow of money into politics, a new report finds. The Global Integrity Report: 2011, a major investigative study of 31 countries, was released today by Global Integrity, an award-winning international nonprofit organization that tracks governance and corruption trends globally.
Twenty-nine countries out of a 31-country* sample scored less than 60 on a 100-point scale on questions assessing the effectiveness of laws regulating individual and corporate donations to political parties, as well as the auditing of those donations and campaign expenditures. Government monitoring agencies tasked with enforcing such laws typically lack investigative power and often have little to no authority to impose sanctions.
The United States scored just 29 out of 100 on the effectiveness of its party financing regulations and 25 out of 100 in its ability to effectively regulate contributions made to individual political candidates. Those scores represent a significant decrease from 2009, the last year Global Integrity covered the US, and reflect the negative impact of the "Citizens United" Supreme Court decision in early-2010 that loosened the controls over private money flowing into US elections. Despite that backsliding, the US remains at the head of the pack when it comes to the disclosure of political finance information to the public (94 out of 100).
"We remain deeply concerned by the lack of progress globally on effectively regulating the flow of large sums of private money into the elections process in many countries," said Global Integrity's Executive Director, Nathaniel Heller. "Political financing remains the number one corruption risk around the world, and absent meaningful reforms will continue to hinder many other open government and transparency initiatives," said Heller.
The Global Integrity Report: 2011, which seeks to assess the medicine applied against corruption rather than the actual disease of corruption at the national level, also assessed other areas of government transparency and accountability. These include conflicts of interest regulations, freedom of the press, and law enforcement accountability.
It covers developed countries such as the U. S., Ireland, and Germany as well as dozens of the world's emerging markets and developing nations, from Algeria to Ukraine to China. Rather than measure perceptions of corruption, the report assesses the accountability mechanisms and transparency measures in place (or not) to prevent corruption through 320 "Integrity Indicators" as well as journalistic reporting of corruption. Gaps in those safeguards suggest where corruption is more likely to occur.
Other major findings of the report include the following:Please note that although offices are situated in Cape Town, South Africa was not included in the latest report.
To read the rest of the report click HERE