The survey says…

Well, not exactly what the headline says, that’s for sure. According to the RTE report “Ireland 17th least corrupt, survey finds” and opens with the line “A survey of 146 countries has rated Ireland as the 17th least corrupt.” Except the survey is a Corruption Perceptions Index by the Internet Centre for Corruption Research – that’s PERCEPTIONS.To be fair to RTE, the press release from Transparency International Chairman, Peter Eigen, confuses the two issues as well.. “Corruption is rampant in 60 countries, and the public sector is plagued by bribery, says TI”… but then it’s a press release designed to get attention.

However, it does point out that “The Corruption Perceptions Index is a poll of polls, reflecting the perceptions of business people and country analysts, both resident and non-resident.”

It’s a difficult call whether you prefer to be in a state where people believe corruption isn’t rampant, or in one where everyone is convinced that it is. Personally, I say a degree of cynicism is a good thing.

So taking it at face value.. well everyone else seems to…

The UK does reasonably well placing 11th least corrupt and the USA and Belgium tie with Ireland as 17th least corrupt.

and.. Congratulations Finland! The least corrupt country in the world!

Of course, they might just be better than everyone else at covering it up.