More on how great Denmark is; and where does your country sit on the Index?

Not only does Denmark have great beer (see my post from yesterday), they are, along with New Zealand and Singapore, the least corrupt countries in the world.  So say Transparency International (TI) in their annual review of corruption in every country across the world.

TI is a brilliant organisation. I have done a little bit of work with them in the past, and they combine a real desire to 'do good' with a business-like sense of how to get things done and help drive change.  They campaign around the world to reduce corruption in Government - everything from electoral fraud to bribery in military procurement. As such they engage with businesses, politicians and public sector management.

Every year they produce their Corruption Perceptions Index, ranking countries based on a number of factors. They have just published this year's report; as well as the leaders listed above, notable points are the UK falling from 17th to 20th, now behind Barbados and Qatar (low numbers are good).  Scandinavian countries do very well; Somalia and Burma prop up the table.

'Corruption' (or lack of) correlates pretty closely with economic success. You can't build a successful economy on the back of endemic bribery, corrupt government procurement or dodgy elections.  Procurement has a key part to play in all this of course; honest procurement based on objective decision making (for both public and private sectors) encourages better business performance and contributes much to economic success.

Another interesting point for procurement.  We may perceive that transparent processes, and clear audit trails, are secondary benefits (compared to efficiency and cost reduction) of using appropriate technology in procurement processes.  But these advantages are absolutely key in some countries where governments are working hard to overcome corruption.

On a less happy note, Julian Messent, a British insurance executive, was sentenced to 21 months in jail this week for bribing the Costa Rican State Insurance Company and their state electricity and telecomms provider to win big reinsurance contracts.  So, if this ever becomes relevant to you, think about TI, think about Mr Messent and your own position, and if you're ever in a dodgy procurement / sales situation... just say no!

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