More corrupt than last year?

BackSeatDriver Dick O’Brien taunts [some] of his co-bloggers with Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index for 2005. But, as I noted this time last year [has it really been that long? – Ed] Ireland was rated as 17th least corrupt at 7.5 in 2004. A year later the perception is that Ireland has become slightly more corrupt – now 19th with a rating of 7.4, and as equally corrupt as Belgium, more corrupt than the US or the UK or France, and only slightly less corrupt than Chile. Take a bow, Iceland!.. just beating last year’s least corrupt country, Finland.Here’s the list of the 30 least corrupt countries on the Index, and the full results [pdf file]

Figures indicate – Rank, Country, 2005 CPI score

1 Iceland 9.7

2 Finland 9.6
New Zealand 9.6

4 Denmark 9.5

5 Singapore 9.4

6 Sweden 9.2

7 Switzerland 9.1

8 Norway 8.9

9 Australia 8.8

10 Austria 8.7

11 Netherlands 8.6
United Kingdom 8.6

13 Luxembourg 8.5

14 Canada 8.4

15 Hong Kong 8.3

16 Germany 8.2

17 USA 7.6

18 France 7.5

19 Belgium 7.4
Ireland 7.4

21 Chile 7.3
Japan 7.3

23 Spain 7.0

24 Barbados 6.9

25 Malta 6.6

26 Portugal 6.5

27 Estonia 6.4

28 Israel 6.3
Oman 6.3

30 United Arab Emirates 6.2

Update The BBC report on the Corruption Index… and the RTÉ report are both worth noting.

As the RTÉ report points out –

Ten years ago Ireland was deemed the 11th least corrupt country with a score of 8.57.

Transparency International, which compiles the rankings from among 159 countries, says the Irish ranking is relatively high in international terms, but falls well short of the scores allocated to its northern European neighbours. Iceland is perceived to be the ‘least corrupt country’ with a score of 9.7 and is closely followed by Finland on 9.6 out of 10. The UK also scores highly with 8.6 out of 10.

According to John Devitt, acting CEO of Transparency International Ireland, the ‘sobering’ decline in Ireland’s international standing should provide the impetus for reform.