By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsgfuyana.com] – President Donald Ramotar has come out in full defense of his Government’s efforts to reduce corruption by ensuring transparency after Guyana scored 27 out of 100 on the Transparency International’s (TI) Corruption Perceptions Index, dropping a point from the 28 it gained last year.
The Head of State challenged the local subsidiary of TI to release the four surveys it conducted which formed the basis for the pronouncement. He further called for TI, in keeping with the principles of transparency, to also release the sources of information, the duration of the surveys and the persons involved in compiling the data.
“This is a product not based in fact, but engineered,” Ramotar added. He was at the time delivering remarks at the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (GCCI) 124th Gala and Awards Ceremony at the Pegasus, Georgetown on Wednesday (December 4).
He said several of the persons who proclaim to be ‘zars’ of transparency locally, which may have been the source of the data and is associated with TI is also known to have associations with opposition political parties. President Ramotar said some of these same persons have also publicly criticized his administration on incidents of ‘perceived’ conflicts of interest.
The Head of State reminded of efforts by his administration to reduce corruption and increase transparency among which was the introduction of public bidding, the tabling of the Auditor General’s report in the National Assembly after years of absence.
According to him, it was his Government that made a transformation in promoting transparency, and in some regards has done better than developed countries.
Earlier in the day, Cabinet Secretary Dr. Roger Luncheon also rejected the TI’s findings, deeming them to be charitable to Government’s efforts.
He made it clear then that the Administration will not sit around like ‘toothless poodles’ and not challenge TI’s conclusions.
The Guyana Government has over the years challenged reports which pronounced on high levels of corruption and the lack of transparency here, deeming them to be largely inaccurate and not a true reflection of the Guyana situation.
On the other hand, opposition elements continue to insist that corruption does exist on a large scale in Guyana.