No room for complacency in steering clear of corruption

Transparency International’s latest Corruption Perceptions Index shows the worldwide challenge of keeping public sector organisations corruption-free leaves no room for complacency, says the Public Service Association (PSA).

 “It is a point of pride that New Zealand has been at the number one or two position in the index since 2014 – scoring just one point below Denmark this year, and two points above Finland, Switzerland, Singapore and Sweden – and this is in large part down to the hard work and integrity of our members in the state sector. However, that doesn’t mean we should ever become complacent,” says Glenn Barclay, PSA national secretary.

 “It is relevant that this year Transparency International has drawn a strong connection between high-functioning democracies and low levels of corruption, with an average score for full democracies estimated at 75/100 compared to 30/100 in countries with autocratic regimes.

 “Our score of 87/100 is a healthy place to be, but also leaves room for improvement in areas such as making changes to the Protected Disclosures Act in 2019 to ensure we do much more to strengthen the protection of whistle blowers. We also agree with Transparency New Zealand that more could be done to hold our business and non-profit sectors to equally high standards.

“Within the Pacific region, two bright spots that deserve recognition and show what a difference law changes can make are the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

 “The Solomon Islands increased its score from 39 to 44, helped by successfully passing a comprehensive anti-corruption law and Vanuatu moved its score from 43 to 46 after enacting new legislation to improve access to information, opening up the government to better accountability and citizen participation”. 

For more information see Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index page.