Denmark tops transparency index
Despite Denmark's strong position, Transparency International has criticised the government for its new freedom of information act
Denmark and New Zealand are tied as the least corrupt countries in the world, according to this year’s Corruption Perceptions Index from Transparency International.
The study of public sector corruption is made by experts who give higher scores to countries with strong access to information systems and rules governing the behaviour of people holding public office.
Countries with a lack of accountability across the public sector and/or ineffective public institutions are given lower scores.
"The top performers clearly reveal how transparency supports accountability and can stop corruption,” said Huguette Labelle, the chairperson of Transparency International, stated in a press release. Still, the better performers face issues like state capture, campaign finance and the oversight of big public contracts which remain major corruption risks.”
Transparency International argues that public sector corruption remains one of the world’s biggest challenges, particularly corruption with political parties, the police and justice systems.
Critical of freedom of information act
The Danish branch of the organisation, TI-DK, has already criticised the government’s new freedom of information act (offentlighedslov), which limits which governmental documents the public can request.
“If the law is ratified as stands, too much will be left in the dark and it is TI-DK’s fear that our strong integrity system will suffer,” TI-DK wrote in a press release before the law was passed. “Furthermore, the law will weaken the media’s role as the fourth estate and watchdog, which would be a very unfortunate consequence.”
Corporate money laundering
The organisation recommends more openness and for governments to crack down on money laundering and corruption within corporations.
“It is time to stop those who get away with acts of corruption,” Labelle said. “The legal loopholes and lack of political will in government facilitate both domestic and cross-border corruption, and call for our intensified efforts to combat the impunity of the corrupt.”