Transparency International

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Transparency International (TI) describes itself as "the global civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption, brings people together in a powerful worldwide coalition to end the devastating impact of corruption on men, women and children around the world."[1]

TI is largely funded by Western governments, and has been accused of biased activities as a result. It has also been accused of lack of transparency in its own activities.[2]


In 2008, TI attracted controversy by claiming in a report entitled Promoting Revenue Transparency that Venezuela's state-owned oil firm PDVSA had failed to disclose basic financial information such as their revenues and how much royalties they paid, and had not produced properly audited accounts.[3] As a result, the report gave PDVSA the lowest possible ranking in assessing the oil companies in 42 different countries, and ranking them according to whether they were of high, medium or low transparency.[4]

In fact, the report was incorrect, and all the data was publicly available, leading to claims of a bias by TI against the Venezuelan government.

When questioned about the apparently biased report, TI initially claimed that information was not available at the time of publication – a claim which was also false - and then refused to answer further questions about the matter.[2]

The data in TI's report was gathered by Mercedes de Freitas, the head of their Caracas bureau and a longtime opponent of President Hugo Chávez. De Freitas' previous job was running a US government funded opposition "civil society" group, the Fundacion Momento de la Gente, which is subsidized by National Endowment for Democracy, a US government agency.[2]

TI Venezuela & Links to Venezeulan Coup

According to a report in the UK's Guardian newspaper, "TI's Venezuela bureau is staffed by opponents of the Venezuelan government. The directors include Robert Bottome, the publisher of Veneconomia, a strident opposition journal, and Aurelio Concheso of the Centre for the Dissemination of Economic Knowledge, a conservative think tank funded by the US government. Concheso was previously a director of the employers' organisation, Fedecamaras. The president of Fedecamaras, Pedro Carmona, led the failed 2002 coup and was briefly installed as Venezuela's dictator." [2]


In 2000, they launched The Transparency International Integrity Awards.

Integrity Award Committee Members


Board of Directors


Advisory Council


Former personnel



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10559 Berlin
Tel. +49-30-3438 20-0
Fax +49-30-3470 3912

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. Transparency International, "About Transparency International", Transparency International website, accessed August 2009.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Calvin Tucker, "Seeing through Transparency International", Guardian (UK), May 22, 2008.
  3. Transparency International, "TI calls on leading oil and gas companies to increase revenue transparency: New report shows companies should provide greater accountability", Transparency International, April 27, 2008.
  4. Transparency International, "Table 1: Overall company results", Transparency International, April 27, 2008.

External resources

External articles