x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

UAE corruption score improves

The UAE has reduced levels of corruption after cracking down on white-collar crime, according to a report released yesterday.

The UAE has reduced levels of corruption after cracking down on white-collar crime, according to a report released yesterday. The 2008 Corruption Perceptions Index by Transparency International rated 180 countries on a scale from zero (for highly corrupt) to 10 (for highly clean) based on surveys completed by business people and country analysts. The UAE's CPI score improved to 5.9 compared to 5.7 last year, giving the country the second highest rating in the region behind Qatar. The Emirates slipped one place on the world rankings, from 34th last year to 35th.

"In the case of the UAE, one explanation for an improved score may be the increase in corruption cases involving high-level executives, including UAE citizens, as well as the strengthening of the Emirates Financial Audit Department," the report said. The Government has made the elimination of corruption a top priority. Adel al Shirawi, the vice chairman of Istithmar World and former chief executive of Tamweel, and Walid al Jaziri, the general manager of sales at Nakheel, have both been questioned regarding allegations of financial irregularities.

Corruption and a lack of transparency remain a fundamental challenge for development in the region, but increased debate on the issue is driving "slow but steady steps towards structural reform", the report said. Denmark, Sweden and New Zealand were in joint first place on the index, with a score of 9.3. Oman and Qatar were praised for "significant improvements". Somalia ranked lowest, with a score of one, just behind Iraq and Myanmar. Britain slipped significantly, from a score of 8.4 to 7.7, after the Dec 2006 decision to discontinue a criminal investigation into BAE Systems over a contract in Saudi Arabia.