Guyana's Corruption Score Not Much Better

Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index. (TICPI) issued its 2014 results. Among the CARICOM countries the two, who rank lowest on the TICPI, are Guyana and Haiti at 124th and 161st places respectively. What the TICPI score means is how public sector corruption is viewed according to a scale, which ranges from 0 = very corrupt to 100 = very honest. Guyana has experienced a slight improvement, rising from 27 in 2013 to 30 in 2014.

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Guyana's anti-corruption agency, Transparency Institute Guyana Inc. (TIGI) took note of the ranking, and has once again urged the Guyana government to make comprehensive government reforms across the board involving commissions, legislation, institutional reform, and securing the public trust, among many actions needed to stop the spread of anti-corruption practices. Some of TIGI's recommendations to the government include:

• Immediate appointment of Integrity Commission members.

• Immediate appointment of Public Procurement Commission members.

• Passage and enforcement of campaign financing laws.

• Passage and enforcement of up-to-date anti-corruption legislation.

• Modernize Guyana police force to fight white collar crime.

• Parliament oversight of public expenditures.

• Civil society groups such as attorney associations, chambers of commerce, manufacturing and services, trade unions, etc. to take a stand against public sector corruption, and collaborate with TIGI.

• No more bribe-taking by police and judges.

• Set up public registries of legal company owners so money-laundering schemes of 'front' companies can't be hidden.

• Halt demonization of public citizens, who want to put corruption high on the state agenda for urgent reform.

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