Vietnam's score on an annual corruption index published by Transparency International continues to stay below average, but at least one official has suggested people should not read too much into the findings.
Scoring 31 out of 100 for the fourth year, Vietnam was ranked 112 out of 168 polled countries and territories on the 2015 Corruption Perceptions Index released early this week.
The index, which measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption from zero to 100, or highly corrupt to very clean, is calculated using 12 different data sources from 11 international institutions that capture perceptions of corruption in the past two years, the organization said in its report.
With a score that was much lower than Asia-Pacific's average of 43, Vietnam was among countries where corruption among public institutions and employees is perceived as common.
Although it outranked Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, Vietnam fell far behind four other Southeast Asian countries, namely Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, respectively ranked eighth, 76th, 88th and 95th.
Denmark was at the top for the second year, followed by Finland and Sweden, while the worst performers were North Korea and Somalia, according to the report.
Overall, "corruption is still rife globally," as two-thirds of the polled countries and territories scored below 50, it said.
Pham Trong Dat, chief of department of anti-corruption under the government's inspectorate, told news website Dan Tri on Friday that Transparency International's assessment criteria are different from Vietnam's, so the findings are "for reference only."
He said the index "did not thoroughly reflect corruption in Vietnam," stressing that international organizations have obviously failed to recognize many breakthrough measures that Vietnam has taken to fight corruption in recent years.