Jamaica has again been ranked as corrupt by the global anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International.
In its 2011 Global Corruption Perception Index (CPI) Rankings, which were released late last night, Jamaica scored at a CPI of 3.3 out of a possible 10, with a country ranking of 86 out of 182 countries.
In 2010, the country’s CPI score was also 3.3, while it was ranked 87 out of 178 countries.
The CPI ranks countries according to their perceived levels of public-sector corruption.
The 2011 index draws on different assessments and business opinion surveys that are carried out by independent reputable institutions.
The surveys and assessments that are used to compile the index include questions which relate to the bribery of public officials, kickbacks in public procurement, embezzlement of public funds, and questions that probe the strength and effectiveness of public-sector anti-corruption efforts.
“It should now be abundantly clear to all Jamaicans that unless they demand monumental changes in the country’s existing moral, ethical and legal anti-corruption codes, and in its approach to the con-joint issues of transparency, accountability and good governance in the administration of the affairs of the Jamaican State, ten years from now we will still be at the same place, talking about the same things”, said Contractor General Greg Christie.
“The time has long passed for those who aspire to lead the Jamaican State to go beyond making mere lip-service statements about their intention to fight corruption. They must publicly state in lucid and specific terms, the practical step-changes that they are prepared to take to effectively bring an end corruption in Jamaica, and the respective time-frames within which these steps will be implemented, " he continued.
Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana were the only countries in the English-Speaking Caribbean that were ranked lower than Jamaica in TI’s 2011 Rankings. Trinidad received a CPI score of 3.2 and a country ranking of 91, whereas Guyana was scored at 2.5 with a country ranking of 134.
Barbados, the Bahamas, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Dominica, were all scored significantly higher than Jamaica at CPI rankings of 7.8, 7.3, 7.0, 5.8 and 5.2 respectively.
New Zealand was ranked as the least corrupt country with a CPI score of 9.5, while North Korea and Somalia were both ranked at the other end of the 182 country scale with a CPI score of 1.0.