Dublin, 3 December 2014
Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for 2014 is published today and shows an improvement in Ireland’s score for the second year in a row.
Despite a series of controversies involving the Gardaí, charities and appointments to public bodies, as well as allegations of corruption in planning; Ireland’s position on the index has moved up since 2012.
Ireland’s score has improved from 72 to 74 out of 100, leaving it in 17th place out of 175 countries. In 2012 it was positioned in 25th place on in the index, in the wake of the publication of the Moriarty and Mahon Tribunal reports.
TI Ireland’s Chief Executive John Devitt warned against complacency. ‘The improvement may be explained by few ‘big-ticket’ corruption stories over the past couple of years. The tribunals may also be fading from memory but there are still significant corruption risks to be addressed’, Mr Devitt said
‘Local authorities and public procurement across the public sector still appear vulnerable to corruption in large part because of the amounts of money to be gained through government contracts, as well as rising property values. When you factor in the probability that you will not be caught for bending or breaking the law, there is a clear incentive for some people to engage in graft.
‘Few people are also being held to account for white collar crime or corruption-related offences. One out of 10 investigations leads to a prosecution and there have only been a handful of convictions for corruption related offences in the last three years,’ Mr Devitt added.
TI Ireland has also called for tougher rules aimed at cleaning up the relationship between business and government. It has called for a two year ‘cooling off’ period for public servants moving into some positions in the private sector, as well as the introduction of a criminal offences for senior officials and public representatives who fail to truthfully declare their assets and liabilities.
The recommendations were contained in a report on lobbying in Ireland, ‘Influence and Integrity’ published by TI Ireland last week. The study is available here.
The group operates Ireland’s only free-phone 'Speak Up' helpline for whistleblowers and witnesses of official malpractice. The findings of the first three years of operating the helpline will be published in early 2015.
Media contact: John Devitt - 01 871 9433