I sometimes give lectures about fraud and corruption in the public sector. It's a significant problem in the UK, estimated to cost something like £16 billion a year. Last year I came across a talk on www.ted.com by Peter Eigen who founded Transparency International, an organization that fights corruption on a worldwide basis, and have used it in lectures. You can see the video below.
Transparency International have just published their Corruption Perceptions Index for 2010. This ranks all 178 countries according to the level of corruption perceived in their public sectors. You can see the results here.
I suppose I am not surprised to see Denmark, New Zealand and Singapore at the top; or to see Somalia, Myanmar and Afghanistan at the bottom. However, the UK has only just managed to stay in the top 20, falling from joint-17th last year. Conjecture on my part would suggest the number of our national politicians have shown themselves to be more interested in what they could get out of government for themselves rather than what they could do for the public has contributed to our country being seen as less clean.