Dublin, 17 November 2009 – Ireland has risen for a second year running on the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). The 2009 results were published today by Transparency International (TI).
Ireland’s score has risen from 7.7 to 8 out of 10 since last year, with a score close to 10 suggesting extremely low levels of corruption. Ireland is now ranked alongside Germany as the 14th least corrupt country in the world out of 180 countries surveyed. Last year Ireland lay in 16th place.
John Devitt Chief Executive of TI Ireland warned against using the index as a measure of the Irish Government's progress on reform.
"This year's result could be taken as a sign that the country is effectively dealing with economic crime and corruption. That perception is far from the truth", said Mr Devitt.
"Successive governments have dragged their feet on important reforms such as whistleblower protection, the registration of lobbyists and transparency in political finance. And while some commitments have been made to introduce changes in the programme for government, there is still no clear sign of a shift away from the culture of 'stroke politics' and the second-hand trade in influence", he added.
Earlier this year, TI Ireland published its National Integrity Systems Country Study that highlighted the risk of "legal corruption" in Ireland. While cases of outright bribery and corruption are rare in Ireland, according to TI Ireland, numerous surveys and weak rules on conflicts of interest and lobbying, show a lack of trust in government's ability to govern independently of private interests.
"The banking crisis in particular shone a light on the dark corners of government and business relations in Ireland. The fact that our country will be crippled with debt for decades is a direct result of bad governance. 'Crony capitalism' did for Ireland what it did for Japan in the 1990s, yet there has been precious little discussion on how crony capitalism will be dealt with here," said Mr Devitt.
The Corruption Perceptions Index is published annually by Transparency International and measures international business and expert perceptions of levels of public sector corruption around the world. Six surveys conducted by think tanks including the World Economic Forum and the Economist Intelligence Unit were used in compiling Ireland's results.
TI Ireland has again called on the Government to introduce an overarching law protecting whistleblowers in both the private and public sector and to ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption. TI Ireland is currently undertaking an EU Commission sponsored study on the protection of whistleblowers in Ireland.