Israel has fallen to 36th place in Transparency International's 2011 Corruption Perceptions Index, tying with St. Vincent and the Grenadines, down from 30th place in 2010 and its lowest-ever ranking since it was first included in the index. This year's index covered 183 countries. Israel's score fell from 6.1 points in 2010 to 5.8 points in 2011.
Nine of the top ten countries in the Corruption Perceptions Index are all OECD member states. New Zealand tops the rankings as the least corrupt country, with a score of 9.4 points, followed by Denmark, Sweden, Singapore, Norway, the Netherlands, Australia, Switzerland and Canada. Japan is ranked 14th, the UK is in 16th place, and the US is in 24th place.
Israel is ranked 25th out of the 34 OECD member states, ahead of only Turkey, Italy, and Greece. In the Middle East, Israel is perceived to be more corrupt than Qatar (in 22nd place), the United Arab Emirates (28th place), and Cyprus (30th place).
Transparency International chairwoman Huguette Labelle said, "This year we have seen corruption on protesters’ banners be they rich or poor. Whether in a Europe hit by debt crisis or an Arab world starting a new political era, leaders must heed the demands for better government.
Shvil - Transparency International Israel executive director Galia Sagy said, "In 1996, Israel received a score of 7.71. There has been a steady, albeit slow, decline ever since in the perception of corruption in Israel. The current score is the lowest ever. We are in a critical period in the country, when the nation has made its voice heard and is demanding social justice. The demand is for transparency, information, ethical conduct, the severing of power and money, and for a fight against corruption, because corruption is one of the main causes of social inequality."
Shvil board member Amnon Dick said, "Israel's disappointing ranking and score should sound alarms among the politicians and decision-makers alike in the public sector. Israel is perceived in the world and among important international organizations as less clean than in the past, which will have negative economic repercussions in the future. Improved transparency is the key to correcting this situation and improving its ranking in this important index."
The Corruption Perceptions Index ranks countries based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be. A country's score indicates the perceived level of public sector corruption on a scale of 0-10, where 0 means that a country is perceived as highly corrupt and 10 means that a country is perceived as very clean. A country's rank indicates its position relative to the other countries included in the index.
The index draws on assessments and opinion surveys carried out by independent and reputable institutions. These surveys and assessments include questions related to the bribery of public officials, kickbacks in public procurement, embezzlement of public funds, and the effectiveness of public sector anti-corruption efforts. Perceptions are used because corruption is to a great extent a hidden activity that is difficult to measure. Over time, perceptions have proved to be a reliable estimate of corruption.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on December 1, 2011
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