Israel did fairly well in comparison to most countries ranked in the annual Corruption Perception Index for 2010, released Tuesday by the global NGO Transparency International. The country ranked 30 out of 178 in perceived lack of corruption and anti-corruption efforts, with an index score of 6.1 based on six surveys of corruption conducted within the state. In comparison, three quarters of the 178 countries covered in the report received a corruption index score below the rank of 5.

According to the Transparency International methodology, the 2010 index draws on "different assessments and business opinion surveys carried out by independent and reputable institutions" to "capture information about the administrative and political aspects of corruption."

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The 2010 results were drawn from 13 surveys and assessments from around the globe published between January 2009 and September 2010. The non-profit stated that the surveys and assessments used to compile the index generally include questions "relating to bribery of public officials, kickbacks in public procurement, embezzlement of public funds, and questions that probe the strength and effectiveness of public sector anti-corruption efforts."

The top five countries in 2010 in the fight against corruption according to the report were Denmark, New Zealand, Singapore - all of which are tied for first with a score of 9.3  - followed closely by Finland and Sweden with scores of 9.2. Countries at the bottom of the list - those perceived to be most corrupt and lax in fighting corruption - include Somalia (1.1), Myanmar (1.4), Afghanistan (1.4) and Iraq (1.5).


Israel's place on the list ranked it just behind the United Arab Emirates and Cyprus (both 6.3) and not far from France (6.8) and Estonia (6.5) in terms of perceived "cleanliness" and freedom from graft. However,  Israel's rank placed it in the bottom third among fellow OECD countries in the perceived level of "cleanliness" and anti-corruption efforts, still ahead of Mexico, Greece, Italy, Slovakia, Turkey, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, South Korea, Portugal and Spain.

Among the major English-speaking countries, Canada fared the best in the sixth spot (8.9), followed by Australia (8.7). The US was placed at number 22 (7.1).

According to the Transparency International criteria, Middle Eastern countries Kuwait and Qatar showed improvement in the perceived anti-corruption efforts in 2010, while in Israel no change was found. Among OECD countries the US, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, and Italy all experienced drops in perceived anti-corruptions efforts from 2009 to 2010 in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.

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