The 2007 Corruption Perceptions Index which was published last week looked at perceptions of public sector corruption in 180 countries and territories - the greatest country coverage of any CPI to date – and is a composite index that draws on 14 expert opinion surveys. It scores countries on a scale from zero to ten, with zero indicating high levels of perceived corruption and ten indicating low levels of perceived corruption.
The 2007 index showed an improvement in Israel's standing from last year, rising to 30th place out of the 180 countries surveyed, while in 2006 Israel was ranked 34. This year's score rose to 6.1 out of 10, compared with 5.9 in 2006.
Transparency International says there is a high correlation between corruption and poverty, and that their results provide clear proof of this. Forty percent of those scoring below 3.0, indicating that corruption is perceived as rampant, are classified by the World Bank as low-income countries.
Somaliaand Myanmar share the lowest score of 1.4, while Denmark has edged up to share the top score of 9.4 with perennial high-flyers Finland and New Zealand.
Scores are significantly higher in several African countries in the 2007 CPI. These include Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa and Swaziland. These results reflect the positive progress of anti-corruption efforts in Africa and show that genuine political will and reform can lower perceived levels of corruption.
Other countries with a significant improvement include Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba
CzechRepublic, Dominica, Italy, FYR Macedonia, Romania and Suriname.
Countries with a significant worsening in perceived levels of corruption in 2007 include Austria, Bahrain, Belize, Bhutan, Jordan, Laos, Macao, Malta, Mauritius, Oman, Papua New Guinea and Thailand.
The concentration of gainers in South East and Eastern Europe testifies to the galvanising effect of the European Union accession process on the fight against corruption