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Aotearoa now third in corruption index - but why?

This sounds pretty good - we're perceived by Transparency International's Annual Survey to be the third least corrupt country in the world. The thing is we're often first or joint first. 

Snippet from Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index 2023 report

Denmark was top in the 2023 Transparency International Corruption Perception Index (CPI) on 90 points, followed by Finland on 87 points. We were two behind on 85. 

So why the drop? 

It's mainly due to responses to the World Economic Forum's 2023 Executive Opinion Survey (EOS); it's one of the eight contributing surveys/assessments to the CPI.

The EOS asks respondents how common it is for businesses to make undocumented extra payments or bribes connected with trade, public utilities, tax payments or awarding of public contracts. It also asks how common it is for public funds to be diverted to companies, individuals or groups due to corruption. And it's answers to these questions that led to the drop to third place. Clearly some business leaders had less confidence in government integrity systems. It would be good to know more and find out what prompted some of these answers. Yes, we need to be vigilant, but we're not dropping down the table dramatically.

Who's at the other end of the index? No surprise here. It's still Somalia with a score of 11. It's been there ever since I can remember. So, at least we're well above this long-standing low point. 

Everyone we work with in local and central government take it for granted that we're corruption free. Maybe it's time for a few reminders.


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