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SVG ranks as the fourth cleanest nation in the Caribbean on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2012

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St Vincent and the Grenadines ranked 36th among 176 countries on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2012, which measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption in countries worldwide.{{more}}

The rankings, released on Wednesday, are based on expert opinion and countries are scored from zero — highly corrupt, to 100 — very clean.

“Some countries score well, but no country scores a perfect 100. Two-thirds of the 176 countries ranked in the 2012 index score below 50, showing that public institutions need to be more transparent, and powerful officials more accountable,” Transparency International said.

SVG scored 62, on the index, while the number 1 ranked nations — Denmark, Finland and New Zealand — each scored 90.

Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia are at the bottom of the ranking – 174, with a score of 8.

SVG trails Barbados, the highest ranked Caribbean Community nation, which is at 15, with a score of 76.

The other CARICOM nations to outrank SVG are The Bahamas and St Lucia, both of which ranked 22, with a score of 71.

Dominica is at 41, with a score of 58, while Trinidad and Tobago is at 80, with a score of 39 and Jamaica 83, with 38.

Haiti, at 165 and a score of 19, is the lowest ranked CARICOM nation.

Guyana ranks 133 with a score of 28.

“We must ensure that there are real consequences to corruption. ‘No to impunity’ cannot just be a slogan — it must be carried out with all our combined strength and inspire citizens to speak up and to no longer tolerate corruption,” Huguette Labelle, chair of Transparency International said.

“Corruption is the world’s most talked about problem,” stated Cobus de Swardt, managing director of Transparency International.

“The world’s leading economies should lead by example, making sure that their institutions are fully transparent and their leaders are held accountable. This is crucial since their institutions play a significant role in preventing corruption from flourishing globally,” de Swardt further said.

The organization, a global civil society entity leading the fight against corruption, says the Corruption Perceptions Index forces governments around the world to take notice of corruption since their country’s score reflects on them.

“But recognising the problem is only the first step towards a solution. That is why we help citizens to demand accountability from their leaders. And we show governments what they can do to tackle corruption. Together, we can make corruption a thing of the past.”

It notes that corruption can happen anywhere.

“When politicians put their own interests above those of the public. When officials demand money and favours from citizens for services that should be free. Corruption is not just an envelope filled with money though — these people make decisions that affect our lives.”

Transparency International has more than 90 chapters worldwide and an international secretariat in Berlin and seeks to raise awareness of the damaging effects of corruption and work with partners in government, business and civil society to develop and implement effective measures to tackle it. (kentonchance@searchlight.vc)

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