Netherlands ranks 8th in international corruption index
Transparency International has released its Corruption Perceptions Index for 2013, revealing that the Netherlands is again one of the world’s least corrupt nations.
The Netherlands is in eighth position, out of a possible 177, with a score of 83 out of 100, where 0 is "highly corrupt" and 100 is "very clean." This is slightly lower than in 2011, when the Netherlands ranked seventh.
First place is a tie between New Zealand and Denmark, who each scored 91. At the other end of the scale is Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia, each scoring only eight points.
More than two thirds of the 177 countries rated scored below 50, including seven in Europe.
The index is based on expert’s opinions of public sector corruption. Transparency in the public sector is demonstrated by having clear access to information systems and strong rules governing the behaviour of public servants and politicians.
A lack of accountability across the public sector, allied to ineffective public institutions, damages perceptions of transparency. Areas that are especially vulnerable to corruption, even in transparent countries, include campaign finance and the oversight of large public contracts.
According to Transparency International, corruption within the public sector is one of the world’s biggest challenges, particularly for political parties, police and justice systems, and remains very difficult to investigate and prosecute. They also fear that responses to climate change, economic crisis and extreme poverty will face a "massive roadblock" in the form of corruption.
Transparency International is calling on international bodies like the G20 to crack down on money laundering, corporations with opaque business dealings and pursue the return of stolen assets.
"It is time to stop those who get away with acts of corruption," said Huguette Labelle, Chair of Transparency International.
"The legal loopholes and lack of political will in government facilitate both domestic and cross-border corruption, and call for our intensified efforts to combat the impunity of the corrupt."
The Dutch government contributed somewhat to this process by introducing higher penalties for corruption earlier in 2013.
Top 10 most transparent countries
For more information, read the full index at Transparency International.