NZ has work to do despite 'world's least corrupt' tag

Lucy Bush
February 23, 2018

International corruption watchdog Transparency International published the 2017 report of its annual Corruption Perception Index, according to which Nepal is gradually improving.

Cambodia, which recently launched a crackdown on civil society, is one of the worst-ranked countries in the region at No. 161 out of 180 nations and a score of 21.

This was the same as the country's score the year before, though it has now inched higher to share the 6th spot with Sweden.

New Zealand, Denmark, and Finland are the top three performers. Somalia was ranked the most corrupt, with a score of 9.

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The CPI scores and ranks are determined by the perceived level of corruption in the country's public sector on a scale from zero (perceived to be highly corrupted) to 100 (perceived to be very clean). Asia Pacific region countries like India, Philippines and Maldives are among the worst regional offenders Limitation in press work and attack on the journalists have made these countries more prone to corruption.

He also said land occupation, bank loan fraud, disreputable groups with vested interests influencing different departmental offices, and a general lack of political goodwill are our most problematic sources of corruption. This was a slight improvement from 2016 when Thailand scored 35 but still down from 2015 and 2014, when the kingdom was given scores of 38.

Of the total, 124 countries (69%) scored below 50 while 107 countries (59%) scored less than the global average of 43. Oman's score fell one point to 44, while Kuwait's score dropped two points to reach 39 in 2017. It found that nearly all journalists killed since 2012 were killed in corrupt countries.

"Smear campaigns, harassment, lawsuits and bureaucratic red tape are all tools used by certain governments in an effort to quiet those who drive anti-corruption efforts", said Moreira.

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The two nations tied for first past year.

Therefore, TI is calling on all governments that "hide behind restrictive laws" to roll them back immediately and allow for greater civic participation.

"Countries where rule of law is respected, freedom of expression is respected, freedom of the press is respected" topped the rankings, said Ferreira Rubio, TI chair Delia Ferreira Rubio said.

Active disclosure of public interest information, including government budgets, company ownership, public procurement and political party finances, also helps in the corruption fight, it said.

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Other reports by Info About Network

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