Canada's public service rated less corrupt

Canada jumped to sixth place in having the most-trustworthy public sector, according to a new report released Tuesday.

Canada rose to sixth place in having the most trustworthy public sector worldwide, according to a report released Tuesday.

The Corruption Perceptions Index calculated Canada's score as 8.9 out of 10 on a survey concerning whether public servants use their positions for private gain.

The country's score was a slight improvement from its 8.7 score in 2009, but the gain was enough to push Canada up two spots in 2010.

Such improvements are important as countries grapple with a sputtering economic recovery, according Transparency International, the German-based international organization that produced the report.

"With governments committing huge sums to tackle the world’s most pressing problems, from the instability of financial markets to climate change and poverty, corruption remains an obstacle to achieving much-needed progress," the group said.

By contrast, the United States scored 7.1 in the 2010 index, only good enough for 22nd place.

Heading up the countries with the cleanest public service were Denmark, New Zealand and Singapore.

Least corrupt countries (2010) Out of 10 
Denmark   9.3
New Zealand 9.3 
Singapore  9.3 
Finland 9.2 
Sweden  9.2 
Canada   8.9 
Source: Transparency International

Conversely, Pakistan, Angola and the Sudan were among the countries that scored the worst in terms of public sector trustworthiness.

Public sector survey

Transparency International compiles its national scores based on surveys of 10 different and well-considered institutions, such as the African Development Bank, Freedom House and the World Bank.

In its latest findings, the United States, Italy and Greece were among the countries that experienced a deterioration in their corruption standing compared with 2009.

On the plus side, Qatar, Jamaica and Chile were some of the nations that enjoyed a gain in their cleanliness factor.

Transparency International, however, warned against using a positional change as indicative of a trend within that country.

The group said such factors as methodological improvements or shifting perceptions among respondents — rather than an actual change in the country's public service — could be the reason for the shifts.