The Saint Lucia government said though Transparency International, in its Corruption Perceptions Index for 2013, has once again ranked Saint Lucia No. 22 with a score of 71, it believes that Saint Lucia can do better and there is no reason why it should not be ranked No. 1 in the Caribbean.
A total of 177 countries and territories worldwide were ranked.
“It is also important to note that both the score and ranking remain the same as last year, but is an improvement over 2011, where the ranking was 25,” the government said in a statement.
According to the Transparency International report, released on Dec. 3, St. Lucia is tied with The Bahamas, Chile and France.
The rankings and score for the entire Caribbean also remain unchanged, according to the 2013 report.
It reveals that Barbados has the lowest level of perceived corruption with a ranking of 15 (index score 75), with Haiti the highest, with a rank of 163 (index score 19).
Transparency International ranks countries on a scale of 0 to 100. A mark closer to 0 means that a country is more corrupt while a mark closer to 100 means that a country is less corrupt.
“Meanwhile, the government urges its citizens to be firm and resolute in the fight against corruption whether in the private sector or the public sector, in all its guises and forms,” the St. Lucian government added.
According to Transparency International, “corruption remains a global threat.”
“The Corruption Perceptions Index 2013 serves as a reminder that the abuse of power, secret dealings and bribery continue to ravage societies around the world,” the organization said in its report.
“No country has a perfect score, and two-thirds of countries score below 50. This indicates a serious, worldwide corruption problem.”
The organization went on to say, “the world urgently needs a renewed effort to crack down on money laundering, clean up political finance, pursue the return of stolen assets and build more transparent public institutions.”
See the full list of rankings below for the Caribbean, from lowest level of perceived corruption to hightest (index scores are in brackets).
St. Lucia…22 (71)
Puerto Rico..33 (62)
St. Vincent..33 (62)
Cuba ……..63 (46)
Dominican Republic ..123 (29)