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(BARBADOS TODAY) – Barbados has fallen slightly in the Transparency International Perception Index, and is now ranked at 30 out of 180 countries in this year’s report with a score of 62 out of 100.
The country’s “territory score” was 62, indicating the perceived level of public sector corruption. One hundred is very clean and zero is high corruption.
In last year’s report the country was ranked at 25th with a score of 68. The score was also 68 in the 2017 report. In the 2016 report the country was ranked 31st, with a score of 61. Barbados was not ranked in 2015.
The Bahamas is ranked at 29th, St Vincent and the Grenadines 39th, Dominica and St Lucia 48th, Grenada 51st, Jamaica 74th, and Guyana 85th.
Giving an overview on the Caribbean territories, the report said: “As mature democracies facing new structural impediments to strengthening their anti-corruption frameworks Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Guyana, Jamaica, St Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago each have substantial room for improvement in their attempt to counter corruption.
“Most of these countries have established legal institutional anti-corruption frameworks of a global standard but perform below what can be expected in terms of actually getting to grips with corruption issues,” said the report, which was released on Thursday.
It said the seven Caribbean countries identified all face pressure from criminal organisations seeking to launder money using the territories of these small states to facilitate illicit flows of drugs and people.
“These pressures come with heightened risks of state capture. Recent oil discoveries also increase the pressure on Guyana to undertake substantial improvements quickly,” it said.
The 34-page document said this year’s corruption perception index revealed that a “staggering” number of countries showed “little to no improvement” in tackling corruption.
“Our analysis also suggests that reducing big money in politics and promoting inclusive political decision-making are essential to curb corruption,” it added.
The report noted that the current state of corruption spoke to a need for greater political integrity in many countries.
It pointed out that in order to have any chance of curbing corruption, governments must strengthen checks and balances.
“Public policies and resources should not be determined by economic power or political influence, but by fair consultation and impartial budget allocation,” the report suggested.