Israel slips in OECD corruption index

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Israel has fallen to 24th place out of the 34 OECD countries in the Global Corruption Perceptions Index.

Israel is one of the most corrupt countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), according to the 2014 OECD Corruption Perceptions Index published by Transparency International - Israel. Former State Comptroller Judge Micha Lindenstrauss (ret.) and Transparency International - Israel executive director Galia Sagy submitted the report to Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni.

The 2014 Global Corruption Perceptions Index shows an alarming picture. Israel is in 24th place among the 34 OECD countries, one place lower than last year. The index itself includes other countries besides the OECD countries. In the overall index, Israel is tied with Spain in 37th place with a score of 60 out of 100 among 175 countries. The index also shows that more than two thirds of all the countries examined received a score of less than 50 out of 100.

The rating of countries in the index was determined by surveys conducted by Transparency International, in which businessmen and experts were asked a series of questions to determine their perception of the existing extent of corruption in their country. Questions included in the survey include whether state employees have abused their positions to promote private interests, to what degree the state is combating corruption, whether elected officials are using the public treasury responsibly, whether civil service appointment procedures are proper, whether those who expose corruption and journalists are protected from the authorities, etc.

The OECD countries head the list of the most corruption-free countries. In first place is Denmark, with a score of 92, followed by New Zealand with a score of 91. Finland and Sweden are in third and fourth places with scores of 89 and 87, respectively, followed by Norway in fifth place with 86 and Switzerland in sixth place with 84. The countries perceived as most corrupt are Sudan, North Korea, and Somalia, each of which had a score of less than 15. OECD countries near the bottom of the table included Turkey, with a 45 score, Italy and Greece with scores of 43, and Mexico with a score of 35. Turkey's score was five points less than its score in the 2013, index. Middle Eastern countries received significantly lower scores on the index than Israel: Jordan was in 55th place with a 49 score, Egypt was in 97th place with a 34 score, Lebanon was in 135th place with a 27 score, and Syria was at the bottom of the list in 159th place with a 20 score. Egypt and Jordan each improved their score by five points, in comparison with the 2013 index.

Lindenstrauss said, "Corruption not only prevents a just distribution of wealth and proper economic development; it also has deleterious effects on public confidence in state institutions. In order to be part of the community of advanced countries, elected officials must lead general transparency processes, especially in decision making. Proper appointment procedures for civil service jobs are another tool for increasing public trust and reining in nepotism in the public sector. The enforcement agencies should regard reports of corruption with the utmost seriousness, and create effective auditing and enforcement mechanisms."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on December 3, 2014

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2014

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