Taiwan ranked 36th among 177 nations and regions in a global index on the perception of corruption in the public sector, rising one spot from last year, the annual survey by Transparency International showed yesterday.
The Corruption Perceptions Index rates countries on a scale from zero (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).
Taiwan received a score of 61 out of 100, the same as last year.
The nation’s ranking at 36th, sharing the same spot with Israel, was the third-highest in East Asia, the annual report showed.
Taiwan trailed Hong Kong, which had a score of 75 and ranked 15th, and Japan, with a score of 74 and ranked 18th. South Korea ranked 46th, with a score of 55.
In 2011, Taiwan ranked 32nd among 183 nations and territories.
Srirak Plipat, regional director of Transparency International Asia Pacific, said Taiwan’s performance this year was similar to last year.
Although there were several corruption cases in Taiwan over the past year, the country has made great progress through the efficient work of the newly established Agency Against Corruption, he said.
Plipat said the report showed that in general, governments in the Asia-Pacific region made limited progress in their battle against corruption, with more than 50 percent of the countries on list scoring less than 40.
Although Taiwan’s improved rankings in recent years deserve recognition, it is still facing some challenges, such as corruption in the judicial and political contribution systems, vote-buying and bribery, Plipat said.
He suggested that the Taiwanese government come up with better measures to protect whistle-blowers because they are critical to the revelation of corruption.
New Zealand and Denmark tied for first place, with a score of 91, among the 177 countries and territories ranked by TI this year. Rounding out the top 10 were Finland, Sweden, Norway, Singapore, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Australia and Canada, all with scores of above 80.
China remained in 80th place with a score of 40.
Germany ranked 12th, the UK 14th, the US 19th and France 22nd.
The Ministry of Justice yesterday said it would continue to promote its “zero tolerance” policy on corruption.