Transparency International, which is an organization based in Germany, gives 180 countries each year a score for having no corruption or very little corruption. New Zealand was top this year with a score of 9.4 out of 10. Somalia was bottom with 1.1.
Australia scored 8.7, the UK and Japan scored 7.7, the US 7.5, South Korea 5.5 and China 3.6. To find the score for your country, go to Transparency International’s website, www.transparency.org , and click on CPI 2009.
How do they measure corruption? These are some of things they look at: a government that doesn’t keep changing, good laws to stop corruption and public information about how the government spends tax money. MPs must be honest. Earlier this year, an MP, Taito Philip Field, went to prison for corruption. It is important too to have independent judges and an independent media. The government cannot tell judges or the media what to do or what to say. The workers in the public service, which means government jobs like police, WINZ and immigration, must be honest. Recently a police officer went to prison for corruption.
The head of the public service says being top in anti-corruption is excellent but we must keep working hard to make sure we stay at the top.