Construction is the most corrupt industry in the world, according to a survey released this week.
Transparency International, a non-profit-making organisation that campaigns against corruption, published its Bribe Payers Index 2002 on Wednesday. It gives 17 industries marks out of 10 for their corruption levels – 10 representing the least corrupt. Construction came lowest at 1.3, compared with property's 3.5 and banking's 4.7.

"Construction did worst because of the amount of licences that have to be agreed with public authorities – there's so much that needs planning approval, so there's a lot of scope for bribing officials," said Jeff Lovitt, head of public relations.

The survey assessed the behaviour of firms with overseas operations in 15 emerging market economies. It also measured the corruption of 21 exporting countries.

The UK came eighth with a score of 6.9. However, the UK and the USA were the only countries whose scores have worsened since 1999, when the UK scored 7.2.