By Constantinos Psillides
The Cyprus branch of Transparency International announced yesterday the creation of a whistleblower protection service.
The service is to be made available mid 2014.
According to the organization, the service will provide people who want to testify against corruption with guidance, support and anonymity.
“Our goal is to record and at the same time fight corruption at its core with the participation and aid of the public. Our service is available to all to who want to report incidents of corruption and are in need of guidance,” a news release said.
The NGO has a team of lawyers available, who will be tasked with processing the reports and formulating suggestions on how to best tackle the issue. The legal team will also be tasked with making suggestions for improving institutions on a national level.
The new service is a part of the greater action plan transparency international is currently implementing for Europe.
A delegation of transparency international met President Nicos Anastasiades last week to present him with the results of the corruption perception index, which ranked Cyprus 31st in 2013, two spots down from 2011 when the island ranked 29th
Cyprus ranked 16th among European countries, while Greece was in last place.
The corruption perception index is based on studies conducted by large private and international organisations and it’s considered an indication of the spread of corruption. For the 2013 results, 13 independent studies from ten organisations were utilised.
The corruption perception index gave Cyprus 63 points, making it 31st among 177 countries included in the study. The Cyprus evaluation was based on five independent studies.
In 2012 Cyprus ranked 29th while in 2011, 2010 and 2009 it ranked 30th, 28th and 27th respectively.
Denmark, New Zealand, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Singapore are the six countries topping the index chart. Somalia, Sudan, North Korea and Afghanistan are perceived to be the most corrupted countries.
Thirty-one European countries were included in the study and Cyprus ranks 16th among them, while Greece ranks last. But Greece ranks 80th globally, a major leap from the 94th position the country was in 2012.