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New Zealand Defense Force given good marks

New Zealand Defense Force given good marks in just released index

Crimes Bill passage addresses recommended improvements

In an index released yesterday at the ASEAN Defence Minister's conference in Malaysia, The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is ranked the most transparent and least corrupt in the region.

NZDF is the only force given an "A" for its strong integrity systems across risk areas of personnel, procurement, operations, political, and finance in the just released Government Defence Anti-corruption Index for the Asia Pacific Region.

According to the 2015 UK Special Defence Project index report: "New Zealand's approach to military operations is an exceptional example of global best practice."

Still the report called for improvements including ratification of UNCAC, more
aggressive prosecution of foreign bribery and bidding company compliance.
"Now we need to leverage off the Defence Forces 'A' ranking by following through on the recommendations from the review and by continuing to establish the same systems for maintaining integrity right through the public service," says Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ) Director Janine McGruddy.

Ms. McGruddy notes "This report focuses on how things are done, not why. It does not address serious concerns including delays in responses to OIA requests and the basis of decision making. I would like to see similar scrutiny looking at the "why" of defence and all government decision making from civil society in the future."

On the day this report was released Parliament coincidentally passed the Organised Crimes and Anti-Corruption Amendment Bill (Bill) removing the final obstacle to ratification of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) setting the stage for its ratification before Christmas.

Finally ratifying UNCAC-which New Zealand signed in 2003-"will eliminate a disservice to the impressive standards set by our Defence Force," says Ms McGruddy.

Today is a great day to celebrate New Zealand successes.

ENDS

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