TBILISI, DFWatch — Georgia comes in at 51. place in the latest Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). In the previous ranking, the country was in 64. place.

The CPI is prepared by Transparency International and scores and ranks countries and territories based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be. It is a composite index, a combination of surveys and assessments of corruption, collected by a variety of reputable institutions.

This year’s CPI scores were calculated with a new methodology, which means that the 2012 results are not comparable with those from 2011 or earlier years. However, the new methodology will make it possible to compare CPI results from different years from 2012 onwards.

In the 2012 ranking, Georgia get 52 points and is listed at 51th place among 176 countries. On the scale 0 means highly corrupt and 100 means not corrupt.

With this score Georgia ranks ahead of several EU countries: Chezh Republic, Latvia, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria. On the other hand, non-European nations Uruguay, Chile and Botswana score better than Georgia.

“Georgia has made significant progress since 2004 in tackling different forms of corruption, including petty bribery which has effectively disappeared from Georgians’ everyday life. The country’s anti-corruption legislation has also improved and transparency of government activities in a number of areas has increased. The most notable examples include the introduction of an innovative electronic procurement system, e-government tools, a database with public official’s asset declarations, and efficient services provided to citizens by public service halls” – is written in the survey, but there is mentioned about some gaps too.

The survey assesses the influence of parliament as quite weak, as well as that of the prosecutor’s office. It says that the State Audit Office lacked independence and has been used as a political tool. Some institutions led by powerful officials have been allowed to bypass existing transparency and accountability mechanisms. An imbalanced system of governance also resulted in extreme politicizing of public bodies, which was particularly evident during the last election campaign.

Transparency International prepared some recommendations for Georgian authorities to ensure the country’s further process in the fight against corruption.

TI thinks that it’s important to strengthen the role of parliament, especially in law enforcement and investigation bodies, to set up an independent anti-corruption agency tasked with prevention, investigation, and public education, strengthen local government bodies and increase their transparency and accountability by making them directly elected.