More needs to be done to tackle corruption in Guyana – British High Commissioner
In recent years, Guyana has seen a steady improvement in the Transparency International (TI) Corruptions Perception Index, but there is still much more that needs to be done to address the issues around perceptions of corruption and the ease of doing business.
This is according to British High Commissioner to Guyana, Gregory Quinn, who during the 129th Annual General Meeting of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) on Monday, elaborated that while some progress is being made, Guyana is still behind many other countries in tackling corruption.
“In 2012 the score was 28 out of 100. In 2018 it was 37 out of 100, sadly this was a 1-point drop on 2017, but TI noted that Guyana was one of the significant improvers overall. That puts Guyana in joint 93rd position (out of 180 countries measured) with the Gambia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Mongolia and Panama… Only the Dominican Republic and Haiti in the Caribbean region are lower than Guyana,” the High Commissioner said.
He stated that the average score for all countries was 43 and that anything below 50 indicates a failure to tackle corruption.
More than two-thirds of the countries measured scored below 50.
He explained that the Corruptions Perceptions Index evokes strong feelings among the business community and that while many find fault with the methodology and the results, the TI Index is globally accepted and looked at by investors who want to do business in a country.
“So the Government, in cooperation with the Private Sector, must work together to continue to address this issue and to tackle corruption, wherever it is found, head on.
This also feeds into the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business scores, whilst there were some improvements, Guyana dropped from 126 to 134 in the latest report published in October 2018. That was extremely unfortunate and indicates that there is still much work to be done. Guyana is below the regional average,” the British High Commissioner posited.
In addition, he explained that legislation in Guyana is an important topic that needs to be addressed where it is lacking. He went on to say that in the political climate that Guyana is now facing, it must be reiterated that the Constitution is the supreme law of Guyana.
“It is not, however, my role to interpret that Constitution but what I will say is that the clock is ticking following the no-confidence vote in December. A legal process is ongoing, I recognise that, but that clock has not been stayed. I, therefore, urge, indeed implore, the political leadership of this country to get together and agree [on] a constitutional way forward.”
According to High Commissioner Quinn, it is imperative that this happens and that all political parties have a responsibility to act “honestly and truthfully” and to act for the betterment of every citizen.
“If no way forward is found I fear there will be a further and more harmful impact on business and investment in Guyana. None of us in this room want that…Politicians need to put the people first,” he added. (Kristen Macklingam)