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A review of bribery risk rankings around the world

Sascha Matuszak (Sascha.matuszak@corporatecompliance.org) is a reporter at SCCE & HCCA in Minneapolis, MN, USA.

TRACE International, Inc. released its 2018 ranking of bribery risk in countries around the world, the TRACE Bribery Risk Matrix. The list, which covers 200 countries, analyzes the possibility of companies being asked to pay bribes to foreign officials, and takes into account four major factors:

  • The nature and extent of government interaction with the private sector,

  • Societal attitudes toward bribery and the government's ability to enforce its prohibition,

  • The degree of governmental transparency, and

  • The ability of civil society to monitor and expose corruption.

TRACE obtains data from a variety of sources, including the United Nations, World Bank, and the World Economic Forum. This year’s list has a slight tweak to the methodology, replacing the category “proscription” with “dissuasion.” The change reflects the common issue of having the required laws on the books, but lacking the ability to enforce them. Dissuasion, in this context, measures the extent to which officials are deterred from bribery through societal norms and attitudes toward bribery. This year’s version also includes the TRACE Matrix Data Browser (http://bit.ly/2uJ8VLT) which, according to a press release, gives users the ability “to sort and group the data from which the Matrix scores are derived and identify trends and patterns that may be relevant in understanding the risk environment each country presents.”

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