Transparency for Colombia, the Colombian chapter of Transparency International, on Thursday released its 2008-2009 Departmental and Municipal Transparency Indexes which measure corruption in Colombia’s local government bodies.
The indexes measure the transparency, and the levels of sanctions and self-regulation of Colombia’s 32 governor’s offices, 32 departmental comptroller offices, 148 mayors’ offices and 27 municipal comptroller’s offices. They are designed to measure the risk of corruption in public entities based on institutional practices and conditions.
Based on the index the departments with the lowest risks of corruption are Santander, Caldas and Boyaca, with moderate risks of corruption. The most corruption-free mayor’s offices were found to be Madrid, Pereira, and San Juan de Pasto. The best departmental comptroller’s offices were found in Valle, Antioquia and Caldas, and the best municipal comptroller’s offices in Bello, Manizales and Itagui. The index does not include Bogota, Cali or Medellin.
Choco was determined to be the most corrupt department.
As a whole, Colombia was ranked 78th of 178 countries in the Transparency International’s 2010 Corruption Perceptions Index, a drop of three places from 2009.
The NGO’s index brings together a number of surveys of country experts and business leaders to provide a measure the perception of public sector corruption in each country, focusing on bribery, the payment of kickbacks, and embezzlement.
Colombia scored 3.5 in this year’s index, where 10 is “highly clean” and 0 is “highly corrupt,” a drop from its score of 3.7 in 2009. This is the lowest level since 2000, when the country scored 3.2.
In the last ten years the corruption perception score has hovered between 3.6 and 4.0, according to Transparency for Colombia.