Kuwait climbs 14 positions in the Corruption Perceptions Index

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KUWAIT CITY, Jan 30: The Kuwait Transparency Society says Kuwait’s ranking has improved by four points in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for the year 2023 from 42 points to 46 points, resulting in an increase in its global ranking by 14 places. Its ranking has risen to fourth place in the Gulf and Arab world, achieving its best improvement since 2015.

In a press statement on the results of the CPI 2023 issued by Transparency International, the society explained that Kuwait’s high score is due to the contents of the lofty speech of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Mishaal Al-Ahmad, which had a great impact in affirming the political leadership’s keenness to adhere to the Constitution and preserve the sanctity of public funds, and his absolute faith in the judiciary’s impartiality. Hence, a final ruling was issued in the case of the so-called “Army Fund” which has preoccupied the local arena since 2019. Kuwait has lived through an unprecedented stage of government-parliamentary cooperation to move forward with national reform through an agreement on a legislative map that is the first in Kuwaiti parliamentary history.

The measures taken by the government in approving many reforms in the electoral process, including approving the decree to regard civil ID as a register of voters, the decree for redrawing electoral constituencies, and approving the law of the High Electoral Commission, which will have an important role in reforming the electoral system. The government also adopted in its work program institutional governance. The society called on government agencies to adhere to the national framework and guide for governance and activate the role of the Financial Investigation Unit after issuing a decree for appointing its head in 2021 and transferring its affiliation from the Minister of Finance to the Minister of Interior.

The society believes that it would have been possible to achieve better results in the index if several cases had not occurred, namely the failure of most government agencies to implement law No. 12/2020 regarding the right to access. It said, “There is still an absence of systems and standards of competence and merit in promotions, selecting, evaluating, and renewing officials and leaders, and weak governance applications. The pace of achievement is slow, as we live in the last year of the approval of the National Strategy to Promote Integrity and Combat Corruption (2019/2024), the restrictions on civil society organizations, the lack of support for them, and weak faith in their role.”

Regarding the requirements for improving transparency and integrity in Kuwait, the society said, “Despite Kuwait’s remarkable improvement this year in the index, the real guarantees for continued progress are not reassuring. Kuwait, despite its officials repeatedly confirming that it is undertaking reforms to increase transparency and integrity of transactions in the public and private sectors, activating these reforms, in reality, remains selective, limited, irregular, and linked to an unstable will due to weak political stability.

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