While Guyana would have significantly improved on Transparency International’s Corruption Perception’s Index (CPI), it does not mean the Nation is “out of the woods as yet” says head of the local chapter, Dr. Troy Thomas.
During an exclusive interview with this news agency, Dr. Thomas reminded that Guyana moved up eight places on the 2019 CPI, coming in at the 85th position out of 180 countries while in 2018, it placed 93. In previous years too, Guyana placed 91 for 2017, 108 for 2016 and 119 for 2015.
The transparency advocate said, “…For all intents and purposes, we seem to be moving in a good direction so that is good news… If you go back five years ago and compare, it is difficult to say nothing has changed and various things could have lent to that improvement in the ranking…”
In this regard, the TIGI Head pointed to the fact that while many complain of the incompetence of the government in managing the oil sector, there is still way more information available now on oil related issues than what would have been released years before. On the other hand, while there is transparency on the release of certain bits of information, Dr. Thomas did criticize the government for failing to be accountable on issues like the spending on the controversial Durban Park Project and the receipt of the US$18M signing bonus from ExxonMobil.
Dr. Thomas further stated that while the improved CPI ranking is one to be lauded, it does not mean that Guyana is out of the woods since there would have been breakdowns along the journey to transparency.
Transparency International was established in 1995 and only takes into account, assessments from 12 different institutions. The institutions are the African Development Bank (based in Ivory Coast), Bertelsmann Foundation (based in Germany), Economist Intelligence Unit (based in UK), Freedom House (based in US), Global Insight (based in US), International Institute for Management Development (based in Switzerland), Political and Economic Risk Consultancy (based in Hong Kong), The PRS Group, Inc., (based in US), World Economic Forum, World Bank, and the World Justice Project (based in US).
According to Transparency International, countries need to be evaluated by at least three of these sources to appear on the CPI which measures perceptions of corruption due to the difficulty of measuring absolute levels of same.