PERSONAL relationships and political donations are believed to influence political decisions and policy to a considerable degree in Ireland.
This is according to a report on the level of corruption worldwide.
The 2009 Transparency International Global Corruption Report found that the situation in Ireland is compounded by a lack of transparency in political funding and lobbying.
The report also found that the scale of ‘petty corruption’ in Ireland is among the lowest it has measured anywhere in the world.
Ireland and Britain both came in at 16th place in the ranking in the corruption perception index.
Denmark, New Zealand and Sweden took the top spots with a score of 9.3. Ireland’s score was 7.7. A score close to 10 suggests extremely low levels of corruption. Last year Ireland and Britain were also placed in 16th place.
The report found that bribery and price-fixing is costing countries billions in lost revenues.
It said corruption was widespread across the world and not confined to poor countries.
The report looks at malpractice involving private sector firms in 45 countries.
It said that almost two out of five businesses surveyed had been asked to provide government officials with bribes.
And half of the international businesses executives polled estimated that corruption added at least 10% to project building costs.
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