Sierra Leone has been ranked 119 out of 175 countries by Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index (CPI) for 2013 released yesterday.
The Corruption Perception Index is based on experts' opinions of public sector corruption, and countries' scores can be helped by strong access to information systems and rules governing the behaviour of those in public positions; while a lack of accountability across the public sector - coupled with ineffective public institutions - hurt these perceptions.
According to a release byTransparency International Sierra Leone, this year's CPI indicates that although the country improved in rank, its score reduced slightly in terms of progress made in the fight against sleaze.
The organization noted that the reduction in score is a pointer to the fact that tremendous effort is still needed by government and citizens to curb graft, which, it said, is gradually becoming a prevalent norm in society and that despite the numerous efforts made to proactively address this scourge, public officials and those in positions of trust have decided to carry on with "business as usual".
"The sources of data used for the rank and score for Sierra Leone were mainly derived from eight (8) sources (surveys). Transparency International Sierra Leone is of the firm conviction that unless and until corruption is effectively addressed and there is the will, determination and commitment across all sectors of society to effectively contribute to curb this menace, Sierra Leone's stride towards prosperity will remain a dream," it stated.
The organization therefore urged government/public officials both at the national and local level to strive to demonstrate and be committed to a high level of integrity and patriotism in the execution of their duties, and to demonstrate the willingness to curb corruption to ensure that the country's development process will be meaningful to every Sierra Leonean.
"We also continue to urge the general citizenry and civil society organizations to be more proactive and supportive in the fight against corruption, and more especially to refrain from any act that could condone it and to report any such known act," it concluded.