Denmark has been knocked off the top spot of the list of countries with the least corruption, according to a new study.
The Transparency International world corruption index found New Zealand to be the least corrupt country, with Denmark slipping to second place after three years of topping the list.
But according to the study, Denmark has actually improved its transparency Â– moving from a score of 9.3 to 9.4 out of ten (a score of one being the most corrupt, ten being the least) while New Zealand moved up from a score of 9.3 to 9.5.
Scandinavian countries dominated the top of the list, with Finland coming in joint second, Sweden at fourth and Norway at sixth with scores of 9.4, 9.3 and 9.0, respectively.
The index is compiled annually by Transparency International, whose chair Huguette Labelle told British newspaper the Guardian that corruption remains high on global agendas.
“This year we have seen corruption on protestor’s banners be they rich or poor,Â” Labelle said. Â“Whether in a Europe hit by debt crisis or an Arab world starting a new political era, leaders must head the demands for better government.”
The index covers a range of issues dealing with access to information, bribery and law-enforcement and is compiled using information gathered experts, surveys and independent institutions.
In Denmark, efforts to curb corruption are still ongoing, with the city of Frederiksberg announcing yesterday a new system to allow anonymous whistleblowers to report improper activities.
Â“In the private sector, businesses are protecting shareholdersÂ’ money through whistleblower schemes but at the moment we canÂ’t protect tax payersÂ’ money in the same way,Â” deputy mayor of Frederiskberg Katrine Lester told public broadcaster DR.
The new whistleblowing scheme is designed to catch out gross negligence, rather than minor violations, and it is hoped it will encourage people to come forward who otherwise would have been worried about reprisals.
Â“I donÂ’t expect weÂ’re going to be flooded with reports,Â” Lester said. Â“But sometimes we discover cases of fraud where you wonder why nothing had been reported earlier.Â”
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