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Transparency International announced on 3 December, 2014 that Denmark has overtaken New Zealand to become the country with the lowest level of perceived corruption in the public sector in 2014.
The 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index ranks 175 countries on a scale of zero to 100.
New Zealand score of 91 was pipped by Denmark who moved up one point from last year to 92. The perceived most corrupt countries were North Korea and Somalia, both with scores of 8, ranked 175.
Australia’s score fell from 81 to 80 and it is ranking fell from 10 to 11.
The scores were compiled prior to July 2014, this was just before New Zealand’s election campaign.
“An obstacle to New Zealand leading the index is its failure to ratify the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) over the past 11 years which most countries have ratified,” Transparency International New Zealand Chair Suzanne Snively said today.
“Our ability to ratify was delayed until the legislation required to deal with corruption offences was put in place.
“The long-awaited Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Legislation Bill, an omnibus bill, recently had its first reading in Parliament and we are encouraged that the bill was referred unanimously to Select Committee as one of the first acts of Parliament following the election in October.
“We now need to ensure the Bill is fit for purpose and it reflects government, business and community commitment to being corruption-free.”
Once this bill is introduced, ratification will also allow New Zealand to comply with the OECD Convention.
“Our ranking as number 2 most trusted public sector reinforces that there is still much more to do to protect our good reputation.
“This ranking of the public sector belies the fact that New Zealand companies are facing increased exposure to risks of corruption as we increase our trade and operate increasingly in countries where corruption practices exist.
“China’s score fell to 36, despite its Premier making anti-corruption a key priority and is ranked 100. India, who's new leader has also made anti-corruption a priority, scored 38,ranking it above China at 85.
“These are countries that we are trading with more intensely and clearly, their reputations are not as sound as ours.
“New Zealand companies are urged to take the risks to New Zealand’s reputation seriously and to ensure their staff are supported with policies and guidelines about what to do.
“This is a fundamental matter of governance. Ensuring employees are supported to know what to do when faced with issues that could be corrupt not only protects valued staff members and organisations from legal dilemmas but also ensures safety nets are in place to support our firms who do business overseas to do good honest business all the time.
“Free online self-directed training is available to help on TINZ’s website. Overseas trading businesses are missing out on opportunities to improve their returns if they haven’t considered the impact of their involvement in corruption and if they don’t know the law and how it impacts them not using it”, Ms Snively said
The Chief Executive of Business NZ, Phil O’Reilly echoed Transparency International’s call for urgency on employers to train their staff to ensure the integrity of the country’s reputation.
“We must continually improve our anti-corruption performance in business as well as government to maintain the very best standards in the world,” Mr. O’Reilly said.
For more information see the Transparency International Secretariat media release: Corporate secrecy, global money laundering makes it harder for emerging economies to fight corruption.
Transparency International has released the findings of the Corruption Perceptions Index 2014 in 175 countries. Worldwide the media has shown a great interest in the rankings.
New Zealand is being acknowledged along with with Denmark as the top countries with best integrity systems in the world on television, in print, and online throughout the world.
New Zealand reputation is well known and acknowledged as far as in the antipodes. Evidence of this is the following comment to the media from Jesus Lizcano, President of TI Spain:
“Spain needs to improve and try to emulate the best countries in the global ranking of CPI, such as Denmark and New Zealand, which have legal and institutional systems greatly transparent and preventive against corruption”.