The Transparency International chapters of the two countries that share the ‘least corrupt’ ranking in the Corruption Perceptions Index (New Zealand and Denmark) are jointly calling for greater efforts to counter corruption, including in their own nations. It is great to see well founded trust in our respective public services. But there are still integrity and transparency gaps, that are enabling corrupt practices which need fixing now:
- The anti-bribery laws of each country have significant limitations. Denmark and New Zealand demonstrate limited enforcement against companies bribing abroad. New Zealand also has no publicly available register of beneficial ownership. Denmark and New Zealand both have a relatively open market but in the financial service area, this has been exploited by those wanting to avoid tax or launder dirty money.
- Both countries fall short on whistleblower protection. Whilst New Zealand’s law is currently being reviewed, the draft law takes a light approach to enabling protection for those who speak up. Denmark has no specific laws to ensure the protection of whistleblowers.
- Both countries also have an urgent need for greater transparency around procurement, particularly that arising from COVID-19 response. In addition, recent elections highlighted a lack of regulation and opaque funding of digital advertising that affect political integrity.
- Dark money spent through opaque online advertising is a challenge for every democracy, no matter how clean its reputation.
Transparency International Denmark and Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ) are calling for countries ranked high on the Corruption Perceptions Index to:
- strengthen their integrity and reporting systems,
- improve transparency around the flow of money in and out of their economies, and
- improve public access to information about public expenditure spending, including that spent under the current emergency.