A country’s score indicates the perceived level of public sector corruption on a scale of zero, representing highly corrupt to 100, representing very clean. Guyana scored 30 this year compared to 27 last year.
But not withstanding these improvements the country remains listed in the very corrupt category; lagging far behind its Caribbean Community (CARICOM) peers. Guyana placed 124th out of 175 countries with Haiti coming in 161; being the only regional country to do worse than Guyana.
The 20th report urged “countries at the bottom need to adopt radical anti-corruption measures in favour of their people. Countries at the top of the index should make sure they don’t export corrupt practices to underdeveloped countries.”
Barbados has the highest ranking for CARICOM countries; ranking 74th with a score of 17.
Corruption among officials is most prevalent in Somalia and North Korea while the country where the authorities are seen as least likely to take a bribe is Denmark.
The research uses surveys and assessments on bribery tom produce a composite index, as the organisation says there is no absolute way to assess corruption. It cautions that trying to measure this through data such as bribery prosecutions would only indicate how effective the authorities in each country are.
The country to suffer the biggest drop since last year’s survey was Turkey, whose score fell 5 points to 45, putting it in 64th place. China’s score fell by 4 points to 36, putting it in 100th place. Transparency International noted that China’s lower score came despite a well-ublicised crackdown on bribery there.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Egypt and the Ivory Coast showed the biggest improvement, and were placed, 29th, 94th and 115th respectively.
Since the release of this report this morning, the local corruption Body – Transparency Institute Guyana pointed out that the country’s ranking once again places it at the bottom of the English Speaking Caribbean.
“The ranking of Guyana on the 2014 CPI is just another international indicator which taken together with the local reality simply increases the public perception that corruption remains a chronic problem in Guyana of crisis proportions” TGI said in a release.
TIG said too that it renews its previous calls on the government for:
- The urgent appointment of members of the Integrity Commission
- The urgent appointment of members of the decade awaited Public Procurement Commission
- Implement laws to regulate election campaign financing;
- Implement modern anti-corruption legislation;
- Implement whistle blowing legislation
- Enforce existing anti-corruption laws by investigating and prosecuting the corrupt;
- Strengthen existing anti-corruption institutions such as the Guyana Police Force for example which is weak and unable to counter serious white collar crime and corrupt activities;
- Ensure that all public moneys are placed to the credit of the Consolidated Fund, and no public expenditure must be incurred without Parliamentary approval;
- Ensure that all public officials in positions of trust are held accountable
- Ensure integrity in public life
- Stop the attacks, character assassination and vilification of citizens who have identified corruption as a serious problem that needs urgent and radical state intervention to stem its disastrous consequences for economic development
“TIGI further repeats its earlier calls for the larger members of civil society such as the Guyana Bar Association, the Guyana Association of Women Lawyers, Private Sector Commission, Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association, Georgetown Chamber of Commerce, the trade unions, etc to get involved in combatting corruption by speaking out against corruption and being proactive within its own membership on tackling corruption and by partnering with us for collective efforts. These organizations have the potential to influence change but have been largely silent on the corruption epidemic which continues to have a debilitating effect on Guyana’s development.”
It reminded that corruption undermines democracy, weakens the rule of law and perpetuates poverty.