THE EDITOR: Is corruption a way of life in TT? Will we ever elect a government that will do what it takes to make accountability the cornerstone of its administration? According to Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index (CPI), TT is at 85 (out of a total of 180 countries) with a score of 40, which is near the middle of the pack.
The countries that are perceived to be the least corrupt are New Zealand and Denmark, both at number 1, with a score of 87 (100 means no corruption); the most corrupt nations are South Sudan and Somalia, 178 and 179 respectively; both scored less than one.
Let us first look at the name of the index: Corruption Perception. Why perception? Why not simply call it the Corruption Index? According to transparency.org, the CPI generally defines corruption as "the misuse of public power for private benefit."
"The index cannot capture the individual frustration of this reality, but it does capture the informed views of analysts, business people, and experts in countries around the world."
What can TT learn from New Zealand, one of the two least corrupt countries?
New Zealand has four agencies mandated to root out corruption: Serious Fraud Office, Electoral Commission, Independent Police Conduct Authority, and Ombudsman. Moreover, "New Zealand has ratified several important international anti-corruption conventions such as the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions and the United Nations Convention against Corruption."
TT has been malingering in the middle of the CPI for too many years. If we want to become a world leader against corruption and climb the ladder to sit at the apex with the best, TT will do well to be guided by the best in the world by establishing significant profundities to become a great nation.