Annual corruption report reveals fourth year of stagnation in the Pacific

Mariam Mathew
Pacific Regional Advisor
Transparency International

Joseph Veramu
Executive Director
CLCT Integrity Fiji

The 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) released by Transparency International showed that the Asia Pacific region stagnated with an average score of 45 for the fourth year in a row.

Fiji leads the Pacific but fell from 55 to 53 this year. Vanuatu gained 3 points from last year to register a score of 48. The Solomon Islands fell by 1 point to 42. Papua New Guinea (PNG) once again scores least but further fell by 1 point from last year to register this year’s score of 30. 

New Zealand leads in Oceania and is second globally with a score of 87. It fell by 1 point from last year’s score. Australia’s score is 75; a 2-point increase from last year.

Despite the opportunity presented by the numerous diplomatic summits held in the region in 2022 - including the Pacific Islands Forum in July - states continued to focus on economic development at the expense of other priorities, including anti-corruption efforts.

Mariam Mathew, Pacific Advisor at TI Secretariat said, “The Pacific has shown some encouraging signs, notably the endorsement of the Teieniwa vision in 2021 and the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent in 2022, but anti-corruption commitments are yet to translate into reduced corruption rates.”

Pacific country insights:

Joseph Veramu, Executive Director of CLCT Integrity Fiji said:

"We applaud the new government for committing to repeal many undemocratic laws and measures taken by the previous government. We now urge them to prioritise strengthening anti-corruption efforts. This includes ensuring that the Fiji Independent Commission against Corruption (FICAC) remains operational and is independent and with adequate capacity."

As Fiji’s score in the 2022 CPI fell by 2 points since last year, we believe that all stakeholders in Government, the media, private sector and civil society should work together to curb corruption.”

Ruth Liloqula, Executive Director of Transparency Solomon Islands noted:

"The 2022 CPI score of Solomon Islands shows that government’s efforts to tackle corruption in the public sector is not going anywhere; it has become stagnant. The key Government Institutions that should be leading or providing the leadership, bringing in reforms etc. in this fight, are the most corrupt."

On a positive note, Liloqula said that the determination of CSO’s, journalists, concerned citizens, and actors within the government were tenacious in the fight against corruption. “Power is in people’s hands to hold leaders to account and to nurture leaders who develop a culture of integrity and anti-corruption in government,” she added.

PNG in 2022 experienced what is being called the country’s worst elections ever despite a history of electoral strife. TI PNG’s report found numerous irregularities, with out-of-date election rolls, stolen ballot boxes and even bouts of violence. None of this bodes well for democratic development in PNG and may directly affect its future CPI score.  

Vanuatu however, was a bright spot this year. The people are becoming more aware of corruption as an issue, as civil society organisations form coalitions to hold government accountable. In an important win, the government committed to establishing an anti-corruption commission in late 2021. Yet the country continues to grapple with political instability, with snap elections held this year  after the prospect of a no-confidence vote triggered the president to call elections in August.

Clancy Moore, CEO of TI Australia noted:

"Across the Pacific, corruption poses a direct threat to national and regional peace, stability and security. The Australian government’s foreign policy should prioritise promoting democracy, good governance and civil society accountability efforts.” He added “TI Australia works with our chapters in the Pacific to tackle corruption risks in the mining and infrastructure sector which are skyrocketing as governments and businesses invest in renewable energy. We can also work together to stop money laundering in the region."


During the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting in July 2022, Transparency International Pacific chapters urged leaders to respond to key corruption findings from a public survey assessing people’s views and experiences of corruption in ten forum member countries and territories. With the 2022 CPI scores being released, it is important that these recommendations be revisited. They are listed as follows:

(a) Strengthening accountability of political leaders, requiring all high-level officials to publicly disclose their income and assets, tightly monitoring discretionary public funds, and empowering the police and courts to properly investigate and punish corruption

(b) Increasing transparency in the relationship between government and businesses, by monitoring companies’ involvement in electoral campaigns and policy making, and by ensuring that all public contracts are awarded fairly and competitively

(c) Eradicating bribery opportunities by investing in clear and uncomplicated systems for accessing public services

(d) Ensuring elections are fair and free of vote-buying or threats, by strengthening independent electoral commissions and anti-corruption agencies

(e) Introducing and enforcing right to information and whistleblower protection laws, so that citizens and journalists can hold power to account without fear of retaliation.

Anti-corruption activists in the region need to redouble their efforts and actively engage governments nationally and at regional forums to combat the growing scourge of corruption.

Joseph Veramu of CLCT Integrity Fiji can be contacted at Mariam Mathew, Pacific Advisor at Transparency International can be contacted at

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