In 2022, Kazakhstan continued to decline in the Corruption Perceptions Index

Today, 31 January 2023, the global anti-corruption movement Transparency International released the 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI).

This year, the main theme of the global study is the misuse, waste or theft of public funds that deprive the institutions responsible for protecting citizens, ensuring the rule of law and maintaining peace, of the necessary resources.

At the end of 2022, Kazakhstan scored 36 points, sharing the position with Albania, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Turkey.

Kazakhstan, as before, was assessed on the basis of 9 sources. The experts of two rating agencies raised their assessments of the anti-corruption measures taken, the experts of four rating agencies lowered their assessments, the assessments of the three remaining agencies remained at the level of the previous year.

Survey sourceCPI 2022CPI 2021
1Bertelsmann Foundation Transformation Index33 points33 points
2Economic Intelligence Unit Country Ratings20 points20 points
3Freedom House Nations in Transit Ratings24 points24 points
4Global Insight Country Risk Ratings47 points35 points
5IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook56 points66 points
6PRS International Country Risk Guide67 points64 points
7Varieties of Democracy Project18 points19 points
8World Economic Forum EOS26 points33 points
9World Justice Project Rule of Law Index37 points38 points
TOTAL36 points37 points

The loss of Kazakhstan’s position in the CPI ranking against the background of years of dissatisfaction with inequality, inaction against corruption (especially the ill-gotten wealth of the former ruling family), allowed kleptocrats to take power into their own hands, undermine democratic processes, limit civic space and weaken state institutions. It was evidenced by the events that took place in January 2022, when a surge in fuel prices forced people to protest and eventually led to violent riots. More than 200 people died, and law enforcement agencies are accused of torturing protesters they detained.

Delia Ferreira Rubio, Chairman of the Board of Transparency International, emphasizes:

“Corruption has made our world a more dangerous place. As governments have collectively failed to make progress against it, they fuel the current rise in violence and conflict- — and endanger people everywhere. The only way out is for states to do the hard work, rooting out corruption at all levels to ensure governments work for all people, not just an alite few”.

The leading countries were Denmark (90 points), Finland and New Zealand (87 points each). South Sudan, Syria, and Somalia rank last on the Corruption Perceptions Index with scores of 13, 13 and 12 points, respectively.

26 countries, including Qatar (58 points), Guatemala (24 points) and the United Kingdom (73 points), reached their historical lows this year.

Since 2017, the CPI scores for ten countries have dropped significantly.

Luxembourg (77 points), Canada (74 points), Great Britain (73 points), Austria (71 points), Malaysia (47 points), Mongolia (33 points), Pakistan (27 points), Honduras (23 points) ), Nicaragua (19 points) and Haiti (17 points) showed a significant negative trend.

Eight countries managed to improve their ranking in the CPI: Ireland (77 points), South Korea (63 points), Armenia (46 points), Vietnam (42 points), Maldives (40 points), Moldova (39 points), Angola (33 points) and Uzbekistan (31 points).

In the regional context, the countries of Western Europe and the European Union turned out to be the best, in which the average score of the level of perception of corruption was 66 points. The regions with the lowest scores are Sub-Saharan Africa (32 points) and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (35 points). Kazakhstan was evaluated in the group of ECA countries (Europe and Central Asia).

In the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region, 19 countries were assessed. The leaders are: Georgia (56 points), Armenia (46 points), Montenegro (45 points), Kosovo (41 points), North Macedonia (40 points), Belarus (39 points), Moldova (39 points), Albania (36 points), Kazakhstan (36 points), Serbia (36 points), Turkey (36 points).

The above countries are followed by Bosnia and Herzegovina (34 points), Ukraine (33 points), Uzbekistan (31 points), Russia (28 points), Kyrgyzstan (27 points), Tajikistan (24 points), Azerbaijan (23 points) and Turkmenistan (19 points).

International experts concluded that this year’s results show that most countries around the world are still failing to make progress in the fight against corruption: since 2017, 95 percent of them have shown little or no positive dynamics.

Corrupt governments are unable to protect citizens, and public discontent is more likely to escalate into violence. Countries around the world find themselves in this vicious circle, from South Sudan (13 points) to Brazil (38 points).

Daniel Ericsson, Chief Executive Officer of Transparency International, comments:

The good news is that leaders can fight corruption and promote peace all at once. Governments must open up space to include the public in decision-making – from activists and business owners to marginalised communities and young people. In democratic societies, the people can raise their voices to help root out corruption and demand a safer world for us all.”

The past year has highlighted issues of integrity even in the top-ranked countries, showing that no country has yet beaten corruption. To reduce corruption and better respond to future crises, Transparency International recommends that all governments:

  1. Reinforce checks and balances, and promote separation of powers.
    Anti-corruption agencies and oversights institutions must have sufficient resources and independence to perform their duties. Governments should strengthen institutional controls to manage risk of corruption in defense and security.
  2. Share information and uphold the right to access it.
    Ensure that the public receives accessible, timely and meaningful information, including on public spending and resource distribution. There must be rigorous and clear guidelines for withholding sensitive information, including in the defense sector.
  3. Limit private influence by regulating lobbying and promoting open access to decision-making.
    Policies and resources should be determined by fair and public processes. Measures such as establishing mandatory public registries of lobbyists, enabling public scrutiny of lobbying interaction and enforcing strong conflict of interest regulations are essential.
  4. Combat transnational forms of corruption.
    Top-scoring countries need to clamp down corporate secrecy, foreign bribery and complicit professional enablers, such as bankers and lawyers. They must also take advantage of new ways of working together to ensure that illicit assets can be effectively traced, investigated, confiscated and returned to the victims.

In turn, Transparency International — Kazakhstan states that (i) the Anti-Corruption Agency of Kazakhstan is still unable to pay sufficient attention to the main sector of the economy — subsoil use and the existing balance of interests in agreements with foreign investors in the oil sector, and (ii) the State has officially classified information regarding the return of assets to the country, including the Regulations of the Interdepartmental Commission on Combating the Illegal Concentration of Economic Resources. As international experience shows, such secrecy turns the topic into a subject of personal political bargaining for bureaucratic officials, leveling the main result of the return of capital to the state budget.

In this regard, Transparency International — Kazakhstan recommends that the Government:

  1. Ensure transparency in the form of publication of contracts in the extractive industries (primarily, oil sector), especially for such fields as Tengiz, Kashagan and Karachaganak, since natural resources belong to the people of Kazakhstan pursuant to Article 6.3 of the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and the confidentiality of contracts for subsoil use is contrary not only to our Constitution, but also to the economic interests of the people of Kazakhstan and their future.
  2. Ensure full transparency of information on all issues related to the return of the smuggled capital;
  3. Involve civil society in its work and be accountable to the public not declaratively, but in substance.

About Transparency International

Transparency International is a global civil society organization that has been combating corruption for over 25 years.


Since its inception in 1995, the Corruption Perceptions Index has become the leading global indicator of public sector corruption.

The index scores 180 countries and territories around the world based on perceptions of public sector corruption, using data from 13 external sources, including the World Bank, World Economic Forum, private risk and consulting companies, think tanks and others. The scores reflect the views of experts and business people.

The process for calculating the CPI is regularly reviewed to make sure it is as robust and coherent as possible, most recently by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre in 2017.

All the CPI scores since 2012 are comparable from one year to the next.

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