The perception of public sector corruption was at its highest two years before the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) was voted out of office, and was at its lowest under the rule of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP), according to the New York, USA-headquartered Trading Economics, an online platform that provides historical data, forecasts and trading recommendations.
In an analysis of Transparency International’s (TI) Corruption Perceptions Index for 2004 to 2014, Trading Economics indicated that Barbados averaged 73 points out of 100 during that period, with a low of 67 points in 2006 when the BLP was in power, and a high of 78 in 2010, two years after the DLP assumed office.
Trading Economics says it provides “accurate information” for 196 countries and its data is based on official sources.
It said on its website that Barbados Corruption Index was last updated this month. However, Transparency International’s recently released report for 2015 did not include information on Barbados.
“Public sector corruption isn‘t simply about taxpayer money going missing. Broken institutions and corrupt officials fuel inequality and exploitation –– keeping wealth in the hands of an elite few and trapping many more in poverty,” TI said in presenting the index which ranked 168 countries.
“Based on expert opinion from around the world, the Corruption Perceptions Index measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption worldwide. Not one of the 168 countries assessed in the 2015 index gets a perfect score and two-thirds score below 50 . . . . More than six billion people live in a country with a serious corruption problem,” added the organization, which states that its vision is of a world free of corruption.
In the analysis presented by Trading Economics, Barbados fell two points in its international ranking in 2014, down from a score of 76 for its then ranking of 15th in 2012.
It was reported then that Barbados scored higher than the United States of America and no fewer than a dozen European nations including the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Austria, Portugal, Italy and Greece in 2012.
However, by 2014 it had fallen seven points below the United Kingdom and two points under the United States.
The 2015 index lists Denmark as the world’s cleanest country with a score of 91, down a point from last year. Finland, Sweden, New Zealand and the Netherlands round off the top five.
According to TI, the Corruption Perceptions Index “aggregates data from a number of different sources that provide perceptions of business people and country experts of the level of corruption in the public sector”.
It ranks countries and territories based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be.
In August last year former Chief Justice Sir David Simmons charged that there was a high level of corruption here, which was being swept under the carpet.
While he did not cite specific examples, Sir David had said there was evidence to suggest a rising incidence of corrupt practices both at the private sector and Government levels, with the business community offering bribes to people in the public sector.
This was supported by the umbrella agency of private sector organizations, which had stopped just short of admitting that some of its members engaged in bribery and corruption.
While making it clear he did not have any evidence that business people were bribing politicians, Chairman of the Barbados Private Sector Association Charles Herbert had stated in any case, if there were an easier way of conducting business here, there would be no need for bribery.
“It is very hard for us to know how much of it [corruption claims] is true. What I would say is, when there is an ease of doing business, bribes go away, because you don’t need a bribe to get something done quickly. The minute there are delays, it opens the door for bribery because there is something to bribe you to do. So we can get rid of it by solving the ease of doing business,” Herbert told Barbados TODAY at the time.