January 31, 2023

Commonwealth Caribbean to release regional anti-corruption index

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From Jamaica Observer

ROSEAU, Dominica (CMC) – Anti corruption agencies in the Commonwealth Caribbean have indicated that they will be gathering regional data and release their own anti-corruption index similar to the one issued annually by Transparency International.According to the immediate past Chairman of the Commonwealth Caribbean Association of Integrity Commission and Anti-Corruption, Lady Anande Trotman-Joseph, the decision was made at the recently concluded conference of the Association in Jamaica.

“One of the outcomes of the conference was that collectively as the Commonwealth Caribbean Association, we must also ensure that our side of the story, the work, the efforts, the data that we have, must also be released to the public, we need to share it, so that the public can have an objective picture of what is happening, not only here in Grenada but what is happening across the region,” Trotman-Joseph told the media during a news conference.

“If we don’t, then a perception index will not tell the story for us and all the efforts that we are making, not only here in Grenada but across the region,” she said while explaining that in response to the letter that the Grenada’s Integrity Commission sent to Transparency International a promise was made to dialogue with the commission.

In the past, several Commonwealth nations were ranked as having high perception of corruption – prompting officials in the affected countries to express their concerns.

Trotman-Joseph who will continue to serve on the executive of the Association said that one of the concerns of Transparency International 2016 index, released during the first quarter of 2017 is that a several Caribbean and other commonwealth countries were “bunched together”.

“We appreciate that it is a perception index and we appreciate that sometimes the persons contacted might be organisations or persons from organisations which work with people on the ground, so the person may not really tell the story of what is happening because they themselves may not know,” she said.

Trotman-Joseph who previously served as deputy Chairperson of the Commission and was elevated to Chairman following the retirement of former Chairman Madame Justice Monica Joseph, said Grenada and other anti-corruption agencies in the Commonwealth are doing a lot to fight corruption and because people are not aware of their hard work, the perception from Transparency International makes it appear as if nothing is happening.

“The story of the hard work, the preventative efforts, the anti-corruption efforts, the pursuits of efforts such as asset recovery, proceeds of crime and the investigations that are actually being undertaken in collaboration with many of the donors and international agencies including the Government of friendly countries are not being told,” she said.

The intention is to have the first Commonwealth Caribbean anti-corruption report be released in 2018.

For more on this story go to: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Commonwealth_Caribbean_to_release_regional_anti-corruption_index?profile=1228

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