A corruption index published by Transparency International, based on 13 surveys globally, finds that the oil and gas industry and mining are the industries that account for most global corruption. The evaluations were performed by business leaders in each country, including the Corruption Perceptions Index, the Bribe Payers Index and the Global Corruption Barometer, and looked at bribery and “state capture” or the degree to which a country’s laws have been impacted by the influence of companies.
At number 22 out of 178 countries, with a rating of 7.1, the US was rated below virtually every European country, as well as Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It even rated a little below Hong Kong, Chile and Qatar.
But the US rates much better than Somalia, the worst-rated country, at 1.1, followed by Afghanistan and Iraq at 1.4 and 1.5.
Bribery was one of the two key indices of corruption the study looked at, but the bribery count included only foreign payments to public officials.
Companies in oil and gas; heavy manufacturing and mining were seen to bribe officials most frequently, along with those in public works contracts and construction and real estate and property development.
The second sectoral ranking evaluated the likelihood of companies from the 19 sectors to engage in “state capture”, whereby parties attempt to wield undue influence on government rules, regulations and decision-making through private payments to public officials.
Here again, oil and gas and mining rated in the top five sectors, along with public works contracts and construction and real estate and property development as the sectors whose companies were most likely to use legal or illegal payments to influence the state.
In the US, government officials are legally allowed to openly receive payments from domestic companies to campaign for office in the US. The study looked at foreign payments, not domestic ones. The largest global oil and gas companies are ostensibly US companies.
Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has filed charges against ex-US vice president Dick Cheney and executives of the oil firm Halliburton, over alleged bribes to Nigerian officials in the 1990s.
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