On 3 December 2013, Ernst & Young hosted the launch of Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index where comparisons were made between previous Indexes and the current Index.
The Corruption Perceptions Index measures perceived levels of public sector corruption in countries around the world and the 2013 survey was carried out across 177 countries drawing on a variety of sources.
With Denmark and New Zealand tying for first place but with Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia being worst performers, it is reported by Transparency International that there is a close correlation between low scores and poverty. Low scoring countries are generally notable for lack of transparency and accountability and high levels of reported bribery.
The Index ranks the UK at 14 - a slight improvement on last year's ranking, but with the UK's improvement reflecting the continuing halo effect from the Bribery Act and improved rhetoric from the UK Government on tackling corruption.
At the launch of the Index the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) commented that they were planning increased activity in 2014 and despite budgetary restrictions they did have access to 'blockbuster budgets' where it was necessary for the purposes of major or urgent investigations and proceedings.
The SFO highlighted that they would be looking for continued voluntary reporting for which there was the benefit of a Deferred Prosecution Agreement.