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Global perceptions show Ireland must do more to prevent corruption, says Transparency International

Dublin, 17 October 2005 - Full Irish Press Release with methodology and FAQs here

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Transparency International Ireland (TI Ireland) has urged the Government to commit itself to taking further action to prevent corruption both at home and abroad. The anti-corruption group has also called on Ireland to ratify the United Nations Convention on Corruption as it announced the details of this year’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) today.

The CPI measures perceptions of business people and country analysts towards levels of corruption around the world. Ireland is placed 19 th out of 159 countries with a score of 7.4 out of 10. A score close to 10 indicates that a country is perceived to be “highly clean” and the higher a country is placed on the index, the less corrupt it is believed to be. The lower the score, the more likely a country is believed to suffer from high levels of corruption.

While Ireland ’s score is relatively high in international terms, it falls well short of the scores allocated to its northern European neighbours. Iceland is perceived to be the “least corrupt country” with a score of 9.7 and is closely followed by Finland on 9.6 out of 10. The United Kingdom also scores highly with 8.6 out of 10.

Ireland ’s score and ranking has slipped from a high of 8.57 and 11 th least corrupt country in 1995. According to John Devitt, acting chief executive of TI Ireland, the sobering decline in Ireland’s international standing should provide the impetus for reform: “it could be time for the government to look again at the high cost of appeals to the Information Commissioner and lack of legal safeguards for whistleblowers. Both will have a long term effect on Ireland ’s global reputation”.

Ireland ’s ratification of the United Nations Convention on Corruption which is designed to combat bribery, embezzlement and money laundering worldwide would also “be a clear signal of Ireland ’s commitment to fighting corruption both at home and abroad.” added Mr Devitt.

TI Ireland will launch a National Integrity System study of Ireland in 2006. The NIS study will provide the first in-depth assessment of the ability of Irish laws and institutions to prevent corruption. The NIS study should also provide a clearer picture of what further reforms may be needed to prevent corruption and enhance Ireland ’s international reputation.

The Irish chapter of TI was launched last December. Its board includes people from the world of business, civil society and politics, including Garret FitzGerald , Tom Arnold of Concern and economist Colm McCarthy . The NGO will not investigate corruption but plans to undertake anti-corruption research and lobby government on legal and institutional reform.

TI Ireland is currently funded by membership and the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, a UK based philanthropic group which donated €60,000 for the set up of the Irish chapter of TI in 2004.

TI Ireland launched Ireland ’s first corruption and governance journal, TIQ Ireland, in July. TIQ Ireland, TI’s Daily Corruption News, the Global Corruption Report and details of this year’s and past Corruption Perceptions Indexes are available at

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