New Zealand Tops Latest Global Anti-Corruption Index

Press Release – Transparency International

Transparency International today released its annual Global Corruption Perceptions Index. The Index, compiled by the Transparency International Secretariat in Berlin, shows that New Zealand is perceived as the least corrupt country internationally. …
EMBARGOED UNTIL 13.00 NEW ZEALAND TIME – 1 DECEMBER 2011

NEW ZEALAND TOPS LATEST GLOBAL ANTI-CORRUPTION INDEX

WATCHDOG WARNS AGAINST COMPLACENCY

Transparency International today released its annual Global Corruption Perceptions Index. The Index, compiled by the Transparency International Secretariat in Berlin, shows that New Zealand is perceived as the least corrupt country internationally. The Index, which ranks 182 countries across the world, has consistently shown New Zealand as a country with a strong reputation for clean government. Transparency International New Zealand Co-Chair Claire Johnstone said:

“New Zealand ranking first in the Corruption Perceptions Index is testament to the integrity and performance of all of those involved in New Zealand’s public sector. New Zealand’s reputation for clean government is an important driver of economic prosperity, but it is important that we do not squander or take for granted this reputation.”

Transparency International’s New Zealand Chapter warns against using the country’s performance on the Index as an excuse for complacency and urges the incoming Government to expedite necessary reforms in order to maintain New Zealand’s reputation. Transparency International New Zealand Director Suzanne Snively said:

“The Corruption Perceptions Index is a measure of perceived public sector corruption only, and that assessment is made by experts and members of the business community. It does not address private sector corruption, nor does it serve as a measure of the broader public perception of corruption issues. Several other recent Transparency International publications have shown that there remains cause for concern in New Zealand.”

Transparency International’s Global Corruption Barometer released in December 2010 showed that 3.6% of New Zealanders surveyed reported that they or someone in their household had paid a bribe to a service provider in the previous year. Transparency International New Zealand’s own report As Good As We Are Perceived has shown that many of New Zealand’s largest firms lag behind when it comes to having codes of conduct that prohibit bribery.

Transparency International’s New Zealand Chapter believes that government needs to step up its efforts in combating corruption. A recent survey by the Office of the Auditor General showed that 22.5% of public servants were aware of fraud having occurred in their organisations. While fraud is different from corruption, this is a worrying finding. Furthermore the New Zealand government appears to be falling behind in its international commitments to fight corruption. Suzanne Snively noted:

“While New Zealand signed the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) almost 8 years ago, it now stands as one of only a tiny number of countries which has not yet ratified the convention, and consideration of the convention has been languishing in select committee “other business” for more than two years. We strongly encourage the new Government to address this urgently.”

ENDS

Notes for Editors
Transparency International is a global civil society coalition leading the fight against corruption. It compiles a number of measures of different aspects of corruption including the Corruption Perceptions Index, the Global Corruption Barometer, and the Bribe Payers Index. Information on Transparency International can be found at www.transparency.org and detailed information on the Corruption Perceptions Index can be found at www.transparency.org/cpi

Transparency International New Zealand is the local chapter of Transparency International and is an independent registered charity. Information on TI-NZ, including New Zealand’s performance in the Global Corruption Barometer and the As Good As We Are Perceived? report can be found at www.transparency.org.nz

The Office of the Auditor General’s report Cleanest public sector in the world: Keeping fraud at bay can be found at http://www.oag.govt.nz/2011/public-sector-fraud/docs/overview-report.pdf

Information on the UN Convention Against Corruption can be found at http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/treaties/CAC/

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