Tue | Jan 23, 2018

Letter of the Day | Vision 2030 sham

Published:Wednesday | June 29, 2016 | 12:00 AM


I recently became interested in the corruption index of Jamaica after having to deal with the parish council, the Public Health Department, and the police about a particular nuisance.

I perceive that Jamaica must be one of the most corrupt countries in the world. And the only set of people it will be attracting in 2030 as the desired destination to live and raise a family is thugs, drug lords and criminals of all sorts. Then I said to myself, let's not be quick to cast generalisation because of one experience. So I decided to examine the report of Transparency International (TI) for myself.

What I found ironic was that even though TI was trying to be clear about its data, Jamaica is still pulling the wool over people's eyes regarding its corruption trend.

There are three numbers that immediately draw your attention. These are: (1) the ordinal position the country falls in a list of 168 (rank); (2) the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) which appears to be a percentage; and (3) the control of corruption score. The significant numbers are 2 and 3, not 1.

I also realised that Jamaica was not the only country ranked in 69th position. It shared the spot with Bulgaria and Swaziland. I wondered what they held in common that would give them a CPI of 41.

What I found interesting was that of the three countries holding the same CPI score, Jamaica was the most corrupt, as indicated by the corruption control index of -0.37.

To me, this means that the efforts to control corruption are being outweighed by corruption practices. The more negative the score, the greater need for better governance.

The CPI score of 41 is very poor. Any score below 50 is in the very corrupt zone. This is indicated by the CPI scores of Denmark (rank 1 - score 91), Finland (rank 2 - score 90) and Sweden (rank 3 - score 89), the three least corrupt or most transparent countries in the world.

The contrast is also seen in Afghanistan (rank 166 - score 11), North Korea (rank 167 - score 8) and Somalia (rank 67 - score 8), the three most corrupt or least transparent countries in the world.

As long as Jamaica continues to appoint people who lack integrity in public offices and who are willing to betray the public trust by turning a blind eye to those who are violating various laws, Jamaica will never realise its 2030 vision.