Corruption Index: Finland Is Cleanest Country

By John S. McClenahen Of the 133 nations ranked by the perceived corruption among politicians and public officials, Finland comes out the cleanest on the 2003 Corruption Perceptions Index compiled by Transparency International. Rounding out the top five countries are Iceland, Denmark, New Zealand and Singapore. At the other end of the scale, at No. 133, Bangladesh is rated the most corrupt. The U.S. ties with Ireland for No. 18, bookended by Belgium (No. 17) and Chile (No. 20). The index "points to high levels of corruption in many rich countries as well as poorer one, making it imperative that developed countries enforce international conventions to curb bribery by international companies, and that private businesses fulfill their obligations under the OECD [Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development] Anti-Bribery Convention, namely to stop bribing public officials around the world," says Peter Engen, chairman of Transparency International.

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