Israel Behind Peers in World Corruption Index

A survey that measures the perceptions of corruption internationally in the public sector has ranked Israel No. 36 in a list of 177 countries.

However, it is in the bottom third amongst the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) nations, placing No. 23 of the 34 countries.

Israel’s level of corruption was perceived higher than most of the countries in the West. The survey, which was compiled by watchdog Transparency International, was published Tuesday.

The group ranked the 177 territories and countries from the least corrupt to the most corrupt, with a scoring range of 0 to 100, with 0 meaning highly corrupt and 100 meaning clean.

Scores on each country are derived through interviews, studies by research institutes reflecting views of businessmen, surveys and policy experts regarding each country’s public sector.

The score for Israel was 61, which was nearly unchanged from last year; when it was 60 and ranked as the 39th least corrupt.

The chairman of Transparency International Israel Micha Lindenstrauss a former comptroller said that the corruption not just prevents wealth to be distributed fairly in Israel, but also has implications that are far reaching for the trust of the public.

He said the government in Israel must work to increase the overall transparency adding that minutes of meetings held by the government should be available to the public and that ethical guidelines need to be drafted for all ministers and their deputies.

The TI-Israel chair added that complaints relating to public corruption need to be immediately addressed and in complete coordination with authorities in law enforcement.

He said the problem was there were still weeds of corruption in the public sector that needed immediate uprooting by a heavy hand that will dish out severe punishments.

Only two countries in the Middle East, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, were perceived as being less corrupt that Israel.

Those perceived to be the freest of corruption were Denmark and New Zealand with each receiving the same score of 91. The two were then followed by Sweden and Finland at 89, Singapore and Norway at 86 and Switzerland at 85.

The most corrupt countries were perceived to be North Korea, Afghanistan and Somalia, with all three scoring 8.

Off all the OECD countries, the lowest score went to Mexico.

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