NZ ranks least corrupt

STACEY KIRK
Last updated 09:00 04/12/2013

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New Zealand is leading the world as having the least corrupt public service, according to an international survey.

Tied with Denmark, New Zealand has retained its top spot and gained a point from last year in the latest Corruption Perceptions Index.

Both New Zealand and Denmark received a score of 91 out of 100 in the index, which ranks the transparency of public sectors across 177 countries.

Released by the Transparency International Secretariat in Berlin, the figures rank countries and territories based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be.

Australia came in at number nine on the list, below the Netherlands and Switzerland.

Finland dropped a place to third, while the countries perceived to be the most corrupt were respectively: Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia.

The Ombudsman said increased output from the office had contributed to the top ranking.

This year, the office has seen an unprecedented surge in the number of complaints over the way government agencies are releasing public information.

In September, investigators were struggling to clear a backlog of more than 2000 grievances.

Over the past year, at least 13,684 complaints and other contacts with the office had been registered. Of those, 13,358 had been closed.

There were still 2082 Official Information Act (OIA) complaints being investigated, but the office said that because people were far more aware of its functions, it had lead to a greater understanding of what the public could come to expect from its public service.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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