State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today welcomed the findings of full National Integrity System Assessment Report from Transparency International launched today.
New Zealand, along with Denmark, has again been rated at the top Transparency International Corruptions Perceptions Index results in 2013 of 182 countries, this year with a score of 91 out of 100.
"These results reflect the high levels of integrity, strong spirit of service and the sustained efforts of many State servants working across a range of government agencies," Mr Rennie said.
"Many New Zealanders may not be aware how highly New Zealand is rated highly on a number of international integrity measures and how important high levels of integrity are to the way that the State services operates,
"I have been further heartened by our ability to maintain and even slightly improve in some measures recently," he said.
This year, New Zealand was ranked first in the International Budget Partnership's biannual Open Budget Survey with a score of 92 for 2012. New Zealand improved its rating from 91 to 92 and from second to first place.
New Zealand is also rated highly by the World Bank's assessment of government's regulation of commerce (placing New Zealand third (of 183 economies) in the world. Similarly, the World Justice Project's Rule of Law Index places New Zealand in the top 10 in the world in seven of the eight dimensions measured by the Index.
This year New Zealand, along with the USA, Sweden, Denmark and Norway (tied) was placed in the top five in the Open Data Barometer .
"Our Standards of Integrity & Conduct are fundamental to the way we behave and over 100 State sector agencies are legally bound to abide by the Code.
"However, there is no room for complacency. The latest Transparency International report is a significant, in-depth piece of work with much to consider and we welcome opinion and robust debate around our public systems.
"Achieving public confidence requires that our agencies perform strongly and with high levels of integrity. State sector agencies that are trusted can perform better. And agencies that perform inspire confidence. High levels of integrity are very much part of delivering high levels of performance," Mr Rennie said.
The National Integrity System Assessment Report acknowledged the progress made by the State services through the operation of some key initiatives introduced in the last five years. These included the Performance Improvement Framework ("PIF") and Better Public Services.
"Currently much collaborative work is being undertaken across the State services in relation to transparency, integrity, bribery and corruption. It is a priority for the State services to continue the focus of maintaining high integrity in all our actions and relationships," said Mr Rennie.
New Zealand's involvement in other initiatives:
- The State Services Commission (SSC)-run Kiwis Count survey, which measures the public's trust in public services quarterly, shows that, in contrast to similar surveys overseas, New Zealanders' satisfaction with public services has increased over the last five years.
- The New Zealand government has accepted an invitation to participate in the Open Government Partnership and invited to join the Partnership in April 2014. Joining the Open Government Partnership involves implementing a plan of action that will be carried out over the next several years.
- There are a number of initiatives being implemented to increase transparency. Other example is that Court decisions have been made available to the public online.
- This year, New Zealand was assessed by the OECD for its compliance with the Anti-Bribery Convention (Bribery of Officials in Foreign Countries). New Zealand is considering the recommendations and appropriate actions. OECD follow-up evaluations will take place in October 2014 and October 2015.
- The Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption legislation, when enacted, will enable New Zealand to comply with the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC).
- A new National Anti-Corruption Strategy, an all of Government response to organised crime, was announced in June 2013 and will involve a number of agencies in implementation.
- A new regime to detect and deter money laundering has also come into force.