Bahamas drops rank in corruption index

Bahamas drops rank in corruption index

Country maintains CPI score of 65


NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The Bahamas has dropped a rank in the global Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2018, continuing a trend observed since 2011.

The report, which was published by Transparency International yesterday, measures the perceived levels of corruption in the public sector in 183 countries across the globe.

The Bahamas ranked 29, down from the 28th spot in 2017.

Notwithstanding the drop in rankings, The Bahamas maintained its CPI score of 65.

The rank means The Bahamas is perceived as a notably transparent country.

The report, states that country/territory’s score indicates the perceived level of public sector corruption on a scale of 0-100. Zero means the country is perceived as highly corrupt and 100 means the country is perceived as very clean.

The report said that the continued failure of most countries to significantly control corruption is contributing to a “crisis of democracy around the world”.

The Bahamas ranked fourth in the Americas, scoring higher than Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (58), Dominica (57), Costa Rica (56), Saint Lucia (55), Grenada (52), Cuba (47), Jamaica (44) and Trinidad and Tobago (41).

In the Caribbean, Barbados held the number one spot, while The Bahamas ranked second.

Haiti had the worst score in the Caribbean: 20.

The 2017 corruption index showed that The Bahamas was the top-ranking country in the Caribbean for the least amount of perceived corruption, coming in at number 28 of 176 countries of the list, ahead of Barbados.

A nationwide poll conducted October 2017 by market and opinion firm Public Domain showed that 54 per cent of respondents believed the level of corruption increased in the country between October 2016 and October 2017.

One thousand Bahamians across the country were surveyed.

Denmark and New Zealand topped the index with 88 points and 87 points respectively.

Finland, Singapore and Sweden were also ranked in the top five.

Korea, Yemen, South Sudan, Syria and Somalia ranked in the bottom five.

Somalia, Syria and South Sudan scored 10, 13 and 13 points respectively.

More than two-thirds of countries scored below 50, with an average score of only 43.

Since 2012, only 20 countries have significantly improved their scores.

These include Estonia, Cote, D’lvoire.

Sixteen countries’ scores significantly declined, including Australia, Chile and Malta.

The highest scoring region was western Europe and the European Union with an average score of 66.

The lowest scoring regions were sub-Saharan African with an average score of 32.

Eastern Europe and central Asia were just ahead with an average score of 35.

The U.S. lost four points since 2017, dropping out of the top 20 countries for the first time since 2011.

This was attributed to the U.S. experiencing threats to its systems of checks and balances as well as an “erosion of the ethical norms at the highest levels of power”.

“Our research makes a clear link between having a healthy democracy and successfully fighting public sector corruption,” Transparency International Chairman Delia Ferreira Rubio.

“Corruption is much more likely to flourish where democratic foundations are weak and, as we have seen in many countries, where undemocratic and populist politicians can use it to their advantage.”

Last April, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis declared that the nation was losing $500 million annually to corruption.