(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Israel is among the 30 least corrupt countries in the world, according to the 2007 Corruption Perceptions Index report, released Wednesday. The report is based on the degree to which corruption is perceived among public officials and politicians.
According to the report - which gives Israel a score of 6.1, when 1 is the score given to the most corrupt country and 10 the least - 150 countries are more corrupt than the Jewish state. The rank is an improvement of four places and the score given to Israel increased by a fifth of a point since the 2006 report.
The report ranks Myanmar and Somalia as the world's most corrupt - adding pressure to the Southeast Asian country's military regime as it faces the biggest anti-government protests in nearly two decades.
Myanmar, also known as Burma, and Somalia received the lowest score of 1.4 out of 10.
Denmark, Finland and New Zealand were ranked the least corrupt - each scoring 9.4.
"Countries torn apart by conflict pay a huge toll in their capacity to govern," the agency's international chairman Huguette Labelle said in a statement. "With public institutions crippled or nonexistent, mercenary individuals help themselves to public resources and corruption thrives."
The agency's scale is based on the perceptions of the degree of corruption by businesspeople and country analysts. Countries are ranked out of 10, and any score below 5 indicates "serious" perceived levels of corruption, while scores below 3 reflect "rampant" corruption, the agency said.