A Lecture on “Innovative Development for Enhancing Thailand’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI)”

By The Office of Innovation for Democracy, King Prajadhipok’s Institute and National Anti-Corruption Commission

Innovative Development for Enhancing Thailand’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) Score Based on Indonesia Experiences.

KPK (Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi) or  Indonesia’s Corruption Eradication Commission is established to fight and reduce the number of corruption in the country. This commission stands in the executive branch and has a role as a trigger mechanism to end corruption.

Even though KPK is independent and free from any kind of power influence, the working pattern still needs the other help to work with. Besides that, there is no single solution in fighting corruption, and CPI is not really “Perception”.

Before we try to compare the CPI score of Indonesia and Thailand, it’s important for us to compare the policies of each country. Based on the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), Indonesia and Thailand are not much different. Thailand’s GDP in 2021: 505.98 Billion USD and every improvement for 1 point of CPI index is worth 1.7% of GDP, equivalent to 8.6 Billion USD.

Indonesia’s CPI Index is 38 and Thailand’s is 35. This score signifies that the highest number indicates the smaller act of corruption. In ASEAN CPI 2021, Indonesia is at number 5 after Vietnam, and continues at number 7 with Thailand. After seeing the trend from 1999 into 2020, Indonesia gained 20 points of improvement and Thailand gained 4 points of improvement. Highest improvement points in Indonesia occurred in Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s presidency, which gained +14 points.

Nonetheless, CPI Index dropped 3 points after the KPK law revision in 2019. This revision makes KPK lose the function to prosecute and wiretapping the suspects so this makes KPK weak.

From Indonesia’s history, we can learn that the anti-corruption agency is weak if there is not enough prevention because it will only make everything good at the beginning years. Besides that, some people will use the agency only for certain interests. KPK tries to provide better human resources and it should be balanced with a better system and regulations.

KPK is effective because it’s made with professionals, independent, responsible to the public, and also has a power during handling the cases and KPK aimed at punishment.

Anti corruption agency as a key actor. There’s a strategy and theory for innovation as a political commitment to reduce the number of corruption in the country. First is law enforcement that can make any different effects. Second is prevention that can prevent corruption. And the third one is education that can make people dare not to corrupt. It’s in line with the adequate law, adequate resources and also public participation to make the strategy stronger.

Anti corruption fails because of some problems such as lack of political will, lack of resources, lack of independence, wrong strategy, inadequate law, inadequate jurisdiction in private sector, election, foreign bribery, etc. After that, the other problems are lack of public credibility and support, lack of coalition, corrupt judiciary, lack of professional staff, and lack of internal control.

We need to think smart, especially when facing corruption itself. KPK divides each case based on the profession and position such as the private sector, directors and many other executives. But the most important profession case is for those who focus on judicial corruption and law enforcement integrity such as judges, governor, defense counsel, prosecutor, commissioners, corporation, ambassador and police.

To fight corruption, anti corruption agencies have to gain support from society. In Indonesia, there’s a lot of mega movements and protests against the law revisions for KPK. The major challenges to reduce corruption are inconsistency, law remuneration system, low integrity of law, corruptors fight back, internal oversight system is weak and also the government administration system is prone to corrupt.

The Varieties of Democracy Project”

CPI or Corruption Perceptions Index is an index that refers to a score for countries. This CPI index is made in order to perceive the level of government’s corruption in a country. CPI scores range from 0-100. If a country scores with 0 it means that the country has a high level of corruption. When a country scores higher it means that the country has a lower level of corruption.

Thailand as a country is ranked 110th out of 180 countries if it is seen from the change in the CPI number from 2012-2021. In 2021, Thailand’s CPI index of Thailand is 35 out of 100 which means Thailand has decreased its score by -1 from 2020. The highest CPI score from 2012-2021 is 38 in 2014 until 2015.

V-Dem or Varieties of Democracy is one of the international’s CPI resources especially when people need the transparency resources. It’s a new approach to conceptualizing and measuring democracy itself. Democracy is caused by a lot of phenomena such as economic development, interstate war or peace, civil war, human life and quality of life, nationalism or ethnic identities, class conflict, group inequality, and any other revolutions.

Same as the other issues in democracy, corruption is one of the issues that should be analyzed. Especially when it becomes a data and number, there’re a lot of approaches that can be used to maximize it. CPI uses V-Dem’s Political Corruption Index in many sectors. It contains public sector corruption index, executive corruption index, the indicator for legislative corruption and the indicator of judicial corruption in Thailand.

Public sector corruption is to prove the extent the public sector employees grant favors in exchange for bribes, kickback or other material inducements. From the data we can conclude that it fluctuates and they highly take a grant. It’s proven that the score is from 0.5-1 which means it’s above the middle score, ranging from 0.25-1. They commonly grant favors in exchange for bribes, kickbacks. Besides that, public sector employees about half time to often steal, embezzle, or misappropriate public funds for personal use. Proven by the highest score is one.

From the executive corruption, we can conclude that members of the executive or their agent got a 1-0 score which means they more often than not went to routine and expected to grant favors in exchange for bribes, kickback or other material inducements. And they about half time to often steal, embezzle, or misappropriate public funds for personal use.

From this type of approachment. V-Dems can provide a lot of rich data for researchers. They also can provide various tools for visualizations. This variable is important to calculate the score or index of CPI.


Putri Citra Pratama (Internship Student at KPI)

Universitas Islam Indonesia

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