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Bahamas tops CARICOM countries in transparency index

The Bahamas ranked first among CARICOM nations and 29th in the world on the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2019 report, which means that it is perceived as a notably transparent country, according to Transparency International.

Although The Bahamas improved in its rank among Caribbean countries, its global position on the index remained stagnant last year.

“The Corruption Perceptions Index 2019 reveals a staggering number of countries are showing little to no improvement in tackling corruption,” Transparency International said in the report’s executive summary.

“Our analysis also suggests that reducing big money in politics and promoting inclusive political decision-making are essential to curb corruption.”

In terms of its position in the Americas, The Bahamas ranks fifth out of 32 countries, with Canada, Uruguay and the United States in the top three spots and Nicaragua, Haiti and Venezuela in the bottom three spots.

For the fourth consecutive year, according to the report, the Americas region failed “to make significant progress in the fight against corruption”.

“The region faces significant challenges from political leaders acting in their own self-interest at the expense of the citizens they serve,” it noted.

“Specifically, political party financing and electoral integrity are big challenges.”

The report measures the perceived levels of corruption in the public sector in 180 countries and territories around the world.

It states that a country/territory’s score indicates the perceived level of public sector corruption on a scale of 0-10, where 0 means that a country is perceived as highly corrupt and 10 means that a country is perceived as very clean.

When reached for a comment on the report yesterday, Attorney General Carl Bethel said, “Well, at least we didn’t get worse.”

He continued, “I think we improved last year and we didn’t remain stagnant. We’re just in a holding pattern, but we have some further transparency-based legislation on the table.

“I’m sure that when we pass them our ranking will continue to improve.”

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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