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Watchdog group releases list of most and least corrupt nations

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
December 6th, 2011
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Transparency International, headquartered in Berlin, is an international watchdog group that monitors corruption and the abuse of power nation by nation. They have just released a new list of countries, with the least corrupt at the top of the list, the most corrupt at the bottom. New Zealand is seen as the least corrupt nation in the world, where North Korea and Somali are seen as the most corrupt.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Transparency International says it works with partners in government, business and civil society to develop and implement effective measures to combat corruption.

In its list, the United States ranked 24th least corrupt on a "corruption perceptions index," the fourth-best in the Western Hemisphere. Canada ranked 10th, the Bahamas is 21st and Chile is 22nd.

The top spots, or the lest corrupt nations, are occupied mostly by European countries, with the exception of New Zealand, Singapore at No. 5 and Australia, which is tied for eighth with Switzerland. Other nations with top rankings are Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands.

On the other end of the scale, with Somalia and North Korea both tied for last at No. 182, the bottom of the list includes Myanmar, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Sudan, Iraq, Haiti and Venezuela.

Transparency International is an independent, nonpartisan organization, which says it drew its conclusions based "on different assessments and business opinion surveys carried out by independent and reputable institutions."

The information used to compile the index includes "questions relating to the bribery of public officials, kickbacks in public procurement, embezzlement of public funds and questions that probe the strength and effectiveness of public-sector and anti-corruption efforts," Transparency International said.

The organization explains that "Perceptions" are used because corruption is a hidden activity that is difficult to measure. "Over time, perceptions have proved to be a reliable estimate of corruption."

The rankings for other Western Hemisphere countries are: Uruguay (25), Puerto Rico (39), Costa Rica (50), Cuba (61), Brazil (73), Colombia, El Salvador and Peru (tied for 80), Panama (86), Argentina and Mexico (tied for 100), Bolivia (118), Ecuador and Guatemala (tied for 120), the Dominican Republic and Honduras (tied for 129), Nicaragua (134), Paraguay (154), Venezuela (172) and Haiti (175).

The index uses a scale of 0-10 to measure perceived corruption, with zero representing highly corrupt and 10 being very clean.New Zealand, the highest-ranked nation, has a 9.5 score. Somalia and North Korea, the lowest-ranked, have 1.0.

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