29 August 2002
Media release from the State Services Commissioner
NEW ZEALAND PUBLIC SERVICE AMONGST MOST HONEST IN WORLD
New Zealand public servants have been confirmed as amongst the most honest in the world, the State Services
Commissioner, Michael Wintringham, said today.
Mr Wintringham was responding to the just released results of the internally recognised Transparency International
Corruption Perceptions Index 2002, which ranks New Zealand second equal out of more than 100 countries.
"This is an improvement of one place on New Zealand's 2001 ranking. New Zealand's rating has improved from 9.4 to 9.5
(out of 10) - any rating over 9 means that the country is perceived to have very low levels of government corruption
(politicians and officials).
"New Zealand's public servants can be very proud of this achievement. A State sector and private sector free of
corruption contribute to a fair society and a well-performing economy. "Corruption is the use of public office for
personal gain, usually involving bribery. Fortunately, the environment in New Zealand is low risk for State sector
corruption. "Greater transparency as a result of the Official Information Act 1982 and the Protected Disclosures Act
2000 and the introduction of modern accounting and auditing practice have all helped create an environment in the State
sector in which corrupt practice is unlikely to take place. "It is also my statutory role as State Services Commissioner
to establish a Public Service code of conduct and to ensure that the principles enshrined in it are recognised and
practised in government departments," Mr Wintringham said.
"As well as promoting these principles, I support Public Service chief executives in taking tough and decisive action to
deal with isolated cases of corruption when they occur, Mr Wintringham said.
Note The Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index 2002 was launched in Berlin on 28 August 2002. The
Corruption Perceptions Index was first launched in 1995. This year the index covers 102 countries, drawing on 15 surveys
from nine independent institutions. Survey results can be found at: http://www.transparency.org/