Categorized | National News


The Bahamas dropped in rank in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index this past Monday after dropping by one in the ranking. 

This list of 179 countries placed the country this time at 29. 

Executive Director of the Organization for Responsible Governance (ORG), Matt Albury, said that The Bahamas basically has the same score as it did last year; however other countries have changed positions.

“What The Bahamas falls into is this category of countries that are really stagnating on issue if corruption.”, he said. 

He added, “and in the scope of things, you can usually say ‘Well, that’s not that much of a concern’.”

“What me must know, if you talk to the average Bahamian on the streets, they all understand that corruption is an integrated part of our culture, and we would all agree that politicians, elected officials, and government leaders who take advantage of their opportunity to benefit themselves , is something we would all want to stand against.”, he said. 

Mr. Albury noted that corruption has a very long continuum that comes back to the everyday citizen and their comfort in dealing with governments where its okay to pay someone to move forward in a government line, hide items in luggage to avoid paying customs duty, and expect to be hired based on a family name rather than skill. 

“That support of a culture of corruption, which I think is what we recognize as a day to day part of The Bahamas, is in line with what happens at the top.”, he said.

“We see a number of things that have been done by the current government and by other groups in these last couple of years. You would see that the government did move forward and tabled an Integrity Commissions Bill. One that would set up an independent entity that could receive and prosecute instances of corruption, and this is clearly a global standard.”, he added.

However, this bill has been tabled and has not  been moved in over a year. 

He also noted that there was an independent deputy of public prosecutions that was put forward, adding that this is a good indicator that there is discussion on procurement processes.

“Those are all good indicators that do reflect that corruption is something we need to address, but its not being done in comprehensive way by the government.”, he said.

Last year, results of a nationwide poll by market and opinion research firm Public Domain showed that 54 percent of respondents believed the level of corruption increased in the country between October 2016 and October 2017.

In a press release, Managing Director of Transparency International Patricia Moreira said, “With many democratic institutions under threat across the globe – often by leaders with authoritarian or populist tendencies – we need to do more to strengthen checks and balances and protect citizens’ rights.”

“Corruption chips away at democracy to produce a vicious cycle, where corruption undermines democratic institutions and, in turn, weak institutions are less able to control corruption.”, she added.

Transparency International called on all governments to implement four main steps “to make real progress against corruption and strengthen democracy around the world”.

These steps include strengthening institutions responsible for maintaining checks and balances over political power and ensuring their ability to operate without intimidation. 

The next is to close the implementation gap between anti-corruption legislation, practice and enforcement.

The third was to support civil society organizations which enhance political engagement and public oversight over government spending, particularly at the local level. 

The final step is to support a free and independent media and ensure the safety of journalists and their ability to work without intimidation or harassment.

Written by Jones Bahamas

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Watch JCN Channel 14 Shows

Jcn Channel 14

Sign in now to see your channels and recommendations!

Join Us on Facebook