NZ loses crown of least-corrupt country to Denmark, law delay blamed
By Jonathan Underhill
Dec. 3 (BusinessDesk) - Denmark has toppled New Zealand as having the world's least corrupt public sector, in part because of the long gestation of new anti-graft legislation, which meant the nation couldn't ratify the UN convention against corruption.
New Zealand’s score of 91 out of 100 in Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index for 2014, while Denmark moved up one point to 92. Nearest neighbour Australia's score fell to 80 from 81 and its ranking fell to 10 to 11.
Transparency International New Zealand chair Suzanne Snively said the body was encouraged that the Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Legislation Bill passed its first reading and has been referred to select committee.
"We now need to ensure the bill is fit for purpose and it reflects government, business and community commitment to being corruption-free," Snively said. "Once this bill is introduced, ratification will also allow New Zealand to comply with the OECD Convention."
The Corruption Perceptions Index 2014 ranks 175 countries on a scale of zero to 100. North Korea and Somalia are bottom of the list, sharing a score of just eight out of 100. Of the two most-populous nations, China's rank slipped to 100, behind India at 85.
Snively urged New Zealand companies to take their reputation seriously, especially given the importance for trade of China and India.
"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," she said.