Israel improves in global corruption ranking

Micha Lindenstrauss

Israel rose three places in the 2013 Corruptions Perception Index to 36th out of 177 countries.

Israel has risen three places in the 2013 Corruptions Perception Index, published by Transparency International today. Israel rose from 39th place to 36th place out of 177 countries covered by the survey, and its score rose from 60 points to 61 points. However, among OECD member states, Israel is still in a fairly low position, among the lower third of these countries, ranked 23rd out of 34 member states.

Transparency International's Corruptions Perception Index was presented today by former State Comptroller Judge (Emeritus) Micha Lindenstrauss, chairman of Transparency International Israel (Shvil), to Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni.

The survey shows that 75% of the countries in the index received a score of less than 50, which indicates, among other things, that corruption is still a serious problem in the world. A score of 100 indicates a country perceived to be very clean. Denmark and New Zealand topped the 2013 rankings, each scoring 91. They were followed by Finland and Sweden on 89; Norway and Singapore on 86; Switzerland, with 85 points; the Netherlands, with 83; and Australia and Canada, with 81. At the bottom of the rankings, the countries perceived as the most corrupt are Sudan, Afghanistan, North Korea, and Somalia.

Middle Eastern countries received low scores: Jordan was ranked 66th, with a score of 45; Egypt was ranked 114th, with a score of 32; Lebanon was ranked 127th, with a score of 27, and Syria was ranked last, in 168th place, with a score of 17.

"Corruption does not just prevent the just distribution of capital and proper economic development; it has severe consequences on public confidence," Lindenstrauss said. "The Israeli government should act to increase transparency in its activity, publish the minutes of committees established by the government that are not confidential, especially the ministerial committee for privatization, and immediately adopt meaningful ethical rules for ministers and deputy ministers.

"The struggle for integrity in public service should have a high priority in the activity of law enforcement agencies. The handling of complaints about public corruption should be immediate and fully coordinated by all the agencies operating in this area. Regrettably, there still exist 'weeds' of public corruption that should immediately be uprooted with an iron fist and severe penalties."

Transparency International Israel CEO Adv. Galia Sagi said, "The global Corruptions Perception Index has been published for the 20th year. The data indicate that Israel is ranked only in a middling place in the index, and that there has not been significant change in recent years. Compared with OECD member states, Israel is ranked in the lower half of these countries, and not where we would like to see ourselves and to be."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on December 3, 2013

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013

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