Go content.

What's new?

ACRC clarifies its position on the recent release of CPI 2017 by the Transparency International


ACRC clarifies its position on the recent release of corruption perceptions index 2017 by the Transparency International


February 22, 2017

Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission

The Republic of Korea


Korea ranked 51st out of 180 countries and territories with a score of 54 on the scale of 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be very clean) in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2017 published by the Transparency International (TI).

Korea edged up one point in its score and rose one spot from last year in the 2017 index.

In comparison with the 2016 index, Korea ranked ahead of Grenada (46th → 52nd) and Mauritius (50th → 54th), but fell behind Seychelles (36th) newly added to the list of countries covered by the CPI 2017.

Among OECD member countries, Korea retained its position in the 2017 index, ranking 29th out of 35 countries.

In the OECD rankings, Korea ranked ahead of Italy, Greece, Hungary, and Turkey, etc. Among countries in the Asian region, Korea fell behind Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Bhutan, and Taiwan, etc.

Grand corruption scandals including an influence-peddling scandal by a confidante of former president and corruption in arms procurement, which took place during the observation period of the 2017 index, brought about somewhat negative impact on the level of perceived corruption at home and abroad.

Despite such scandals, the fact that Korean citizens’ aspirations toward transparent and clean society have ballooned since the year 2017 and that the Korean government has made great efforts in fighting corruption with great tenacity envisioned in the government tasks positively affected the assessment of experts reflected into the 2017 index.

The implementation of the Improper Solicitation and Graft Act, the restoration of the Anti-Corruption Policy Consultative Council, and the eradication of unfair employment practices at the public institutions, etc.

Also, there are some recent positive views on the anti-corruption policy environment, etc. of Korea in the international community.

Political and Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC) made comments on the Korean government’s anti-corruption efforts on Mar. 29, 2017 that the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission (ACRC) put significant efforts into the fight against corruption through various means including the enforcement of the Improper Solicitation and Graft Act and the operation of integrity training programs.

A professor at the University of Richmond in the United States, Andy Spalding, stated in his article “South Korea: An anti-corruption tiger” dated Feb. 16, 2018 that the landmark Kim Young Ran Act and the aggressive enforcement actions of the last year distinguish the country as a leader in the global anti-corruption movement.

However, given the national status or economic size of Korea, its 2017 index ranking (51st) is deemed to be low.

Anti-corruption and integrity currently play a significant role in determining the national competitiveness in the international community, so strong and ceaseless push for anti-corruption policies at the government-wide level is essential.

Therefore the ACRC plans to continue to carry out the following tasks in order for Korea to take a leap forward to become a truly advanced country of integrity.

Firstly, the ACRC will actively improve relevant rules and laws pertaining to corruption-causing factors that directly affect the business environment, such as unlawful medical rebates, public contracts, vulnerable compliance system, etc. with a view to thwarting corruption in the private sector.

Secondly, the ACRC will deliver major anti-corruption policies of the government and the outcomes of such policies in an objective and accurate manner to experts and business people participating in the international assessment of Korea’s corruption level at home and abroad.

The eradication of improper solicitation practices through implementing the Improper Solicitation and Graft Act, and the protection of public interest whistle-blowers through the enforcement of the Public Interest Whistleblower Protection Act, etc.

Thirdly, the ACRC will take the lead in international anti-corruption events held by the UN, OECD, and G20, etc. while actively discovering and promoting successful anti-corruption practices to improve Korea’s international credit worthiness.

The ACRC humbly accepts the 2017 CPI result and is fully committed to improving integrity awareness and spreading anti-corruption culture throughout the entire society in cooperation with Korean citizens as well as the relevant ministries so that Korea’s national integrity level can be remarkably enhanced.