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Headquarters of the Caribbean Development Bank in

Mixed performance for Caribbean in Corruption Perception Index

Headquarters of the Caribbean Development Bank in

  • Guyana’s efforts commended

The annual Corruption Perception Index (CPI) was released yesterday with Caribbean nations recording mixed performance for the perceived levels of corruption in their respective public sectors.

The Bahamas was the best ranked country in the region at 29th. (Photo: Sports Illustrated)

Produced by Transparency International and based on perceptions found in 2019, the report found that the majority of countries showed little to no improvement in fighting corruption.

Further, data revealed that globally “corruption is more pervasive in countries where big money can flow freely into electoral campaigns and where governments listen only to the voices of wealthy or well-connected individuals.”

“While there is still much work to do, the (Guyanese) government is demonstrating political will to hold former politicians accountable for the misuse of state resources.”

– Corruption Perception Index 2019

The best ranked country in the region was the Bahamas which placed 29th from the 180 countries included in the report. The country scored 64 out of a possible 100, well above the Americas’ average score of 43.

The CPI score ranks nations according to experts and business people, with 100 being “very clean” and 0 being “highly corrupt”.

Also making the top 50 are Barbados (30th), St Vincent and the Grenadines (39th) and Dominica and St Lucia which tied at 48th with a score of 55.

Barbados was the only other Caribbean nation in the top tier, placing 30th, with a score of 62. (Photo: businessbarbados.com)

The only other Caribbean countries to place better than 100th were Grenada (51st), Cuba (60th), Suriname (70th), Jamaica (74th) with Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago both scoring 40 to tie at 85th.

Notably, the CPI said Guyana has made significant improvements on the list since 2012 and “while there is still much work to do, the government is demonstrating political will to hold former politicians accountable for the misuse of state resources.”

An aerial view of Georgetown, the capital of Guyana which was commended by the CPI.

The best scoring region was Western Europe and European Union with an average of 66 while the lowest scoring region is Sub-Saharan Africa with a mean score of 32.

According to the report, although there is some progress in tackling corruption, most countries have failed to fight it effectively.

Western Europe and European Union was the best scoring region with an average of 66.

Some recommendations given to address the pervasive problem are to:

  1. Manage conflicts of interest
  2. Control political financing
  3. Strengthen electoral integrity
  4. Regulate lobbying activities
  5. Empower citizens
  6. Tackle preferential treatment and,
  7. Reinforce checks and balances.

New Zealand and Denmark tied for the best-ranked nation with a score of 8, trailed closely by Finland, with a score of 86, Switzerland (85) and Singapore (85) and Sweden (85) to complete the top six.

Denmark was the top-scoring country, sharing the spot with New Zealand.
(Photo: worldatlas.com)

The worst-performing nation was Somalia, followed by South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.  The fifth worst performing spot had a four-way tie which included regional partner Venezuela, Equatorial Guinea, Sudan and Afghanistan.

Transparency International is a global movement with an international secretariat in Berlin, Germany and chapters in more than 100 countries. Its primary goal is to tackle corruption through collaborative efforts with governments, businesses and citizens.