Bruno Fagali and his colleague, Lucas Pedrosco recently took a look at how the corruption perception index is determined. More specifically, they looked at the research and methodology used to arrive at country’s corruption perception index in government and business.
The first thing to take note of right off the bat is that the corruption perceptions index is just that. It is only the perception of corruption says Mr. Fagali. The index is not a measure of the actual corruption that occurs in a country’s public sector or private sector. It is only a measure of how corrupt people perceive their government officials and businessmen to be.
The methodology used to arrive at the corruption perception index varies from country to country according to Bruno Fagali. Some countries have research on the level of perceived corruption done by 9 or 10 different organizations. These organizations can include journal or magazine publications, academic institutions such as universities and surveyors.
Bruno points out that each organization has their own method of arriving at the level of perceived corruption in a country. These means that there is no commonality in how the results were obtained. Thus, it can be said that the results are not as comparable to each other based on the different methodologies or research used by the various organizations. The Brazilian attorney also pointed out that each country studied must have had at least three different institutions conduct research on the level of perceived corruption. Most nations had much more than that number, however.
Another critical subject to note is that the level of perception can often be out of sync with the actual level of corruption. In Brazil, for example, the level of perceived corruption has risen substantially. This does not mean that corruption is getting worse. Instead, the high profile corruption cases in Operation Car Wash is bringing to light a lot of past corruption.
The public is now witnessing many media reports and lawsuits involving public officials. This probably explains why there is a higher perceived level of corruption in Brazil right now than before. Corruption is probably lower in Brazil right now, but the perception is higher due to lots of media reports on corruption right now.
Bruno Fagali is a Brazilian attorney who specializes in compliance, ethics, and regulations in both the public and private sphere. He recently created his own law firm. His alma mater is the Pontifical Catholic University Of São Paulo, where he studied general law as well as administrative law.
Bruno Fagali’s Social Media: twitter.com/BrunoFagaliPR