Qatar’s government continues to be among the most trustworthy in the Middle East, according to an annual index that measures perceived levels of public sector corruption in 175 countries/territories around the world.
Qatar moved up two spots this year in the 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index, coming in at 26th, compared to 28th last year.
But it trailed the UAE by a hair, which at 25th was deemed the least corrupt MENA country this year. In 2012, the two nations shared the top spot and the same ranking of 27th.
The other Gulf states trailed far behind this year, but were still considered among the least corrupt countries in the region, with Bahrain and Saudi Arabia ranking 55th, Oman 64th and Kuwait 67th.
In terms of the overall index, Denmark, New Zealand and Finland took the top spots, while the Middle East hosted three of the bottom 10 countries – Iraq, Libya and Sudan.
The report stated that in the Middle East, political corruption remains the biggest challenge:
“Ruling elites have concentrated power with small groups blurring the distinction of separation of powers, which spill into decision-making processes that affect millions of citizens.
Political elites in the region have systematically abused their authority and operate with often startling levels of impunity. They have safeguarded their personal interests through undue influence and networks of patronage.”
To determine its findings, the Berlin-based Transparency International surveys governance and business analysts on the likelihood of bribery and the accountability of public officials in different countries.
In a statement, the organization’s chair, José Ugaz, said countries on both ends of the spectrum have plenty of work ahead.
“Countries at the bottom need to adopt radical anti-corruption measures in favour of their people. Countries at the top of the index should make sure they don’t export corrupt practices to underdeveloped countries.”
Here’s the full report: