Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) Report 2021 has named Barbados as the highest ranked Caribbean country.
The report which was released on Tuesday says Barbados had a score of 65, one up from last year, remains ranked 29th out of the 187 countries surveyed.
The second-ranked Caribbean country is The Bahamas with a score of 64, one up from last year, and a ranking of 30, while St Vincent and the Grenadines’ score remains at 59 and ranking 36.
Dominica’s score remains at 55 and but it now ranks 45th, with Grenada also retaining a score of 53 and ranked at 52.
Jamaica’s score also remains at 44 but its rank went up by one to 70, while Trinidad and Tobago edged out Guyana this year as its score increased by one to 41 and is now ranked at 82.
Guyana went down by two points with a score of 39 with a rank of 87. But the country tops the list of countries that have made significant positive improvements over the years becoming one of the better performing countries.
Haiti was ranked 164th with a score of 20.
The report also notes that the battle against corruption is faltering with 86 per cent of countries making little to no progress in the last 10 years.
It said that at the top of the CPI, countries in Western Europe and the European Union continue to wrestle with transparency and accountability in their response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, threatening the region’s clean image.
Countries using COVID-19 pandemic to curtail basic freedoms
In parts of Asia Pacific, the Americas, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, increasing restrictions on accountability measures and basic civil freedoms allow corruption to go unchecked. Even historically high-performing countries are showing signs of decline.
According to the report a country’s score is the perceived level of public sector corruption on a scale of 0-100, where 0 means highly corrupt and 100 means very clean.
In the last decade, 154 countries have either declined or made no significant progress.
According to the report, as anti-corruption efforts stagnate worldwide, human rights and democracy are also under assault.
“This is no coincidence. Our latest analysis shows that protecting human rights is crucial in the fight against corruption: countries with well-protected civil liberties generally score higher on the CPI, while countries who violate civil liberties tend to score lower,” according to the Report, noting that the global COVID-19 pandemic has also been used in many countries as an excuse to curtail basic freedoms and side-step important checks and balances.
Transparency International is calling on governments to act on their anti-corruption and human rights commitments and for people across the globe to join together in demanding change.
The report noted that since its inception in 1995, the CPI has become the leading global indicator of public sector corruption.
“The Index scores 180 countries and territories around the world based on perceptions of public sector corruption, using data from 13 external sources, including the World Bank, World Economic Forum, private risk and consulting companies, think tanks and others. The scores reflect the views of experts and business people,” the report said.