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NZ Public Service Amongst Most Honest In World

29 August 2002

Media release from the State Services Commissioner


New Zealand public servants have been confirmed as amongst the most honest in the world, the State Services Commissioner, Michael Wintringham, said today.

Mr Wintringham was responding to the just released results of the internally recognised Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index 2002, which ranks New Zealand second equal out of more than 100 countries.

"This is an improvement of one place on New Zealand's 2001 ranking. New Zealand's rating has improved from 9.4 to 9.5 (out of 10) - any rating over 9 means that the country is perceived to have very low levels of government corruption (politicians and officials).

"New Zealand's public servants can be very proud of this achievement. A State sector and private sector free of corruption contribute to a fair society and a well-performing economy. "Corruption is the use of public office for personal gain, usually involving bribery. Fortunately, the environment in New Zealand is low risk for State sector corruption. "Greater transparency as a result of the Official Information Act 1982 and the Protected Disclosures Act 2000 and the introduction of modern accounting and auditing practice have all helped create an environment in the State sector in which corrupt practice is unlikely to take place. "It is also my statutory role as State Services Commissioner to establish a Public Service code of conduct and to ensure that the principles enshrined in it are recognised and practised in government departments," Mr Wintringham said.

"As well as promoting these principles, I support Public Service chief executives in taking tough and decisive action to deal with isolated cases of corruption when they occur, Mr Wintringham said.

Note The Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index 2002 was launched in Berlin on 28 August 2002. The Corruption Perceptions Index was first launched in 1995. This year the index covers 102 countries, drawing on 15 surveys from nine independent institutions. Survey results can be found at: http://www.transparency.org/

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