Saint Lucia has been ranked 3rd with Saint Vincent and the Grenadines among the least corrupt Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries, according to the latest figures released by Transparency International on Wednesday.
Both Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines ranked 35th with a score of 60, followed by Dominica at 38 with a score of 39 and Grenada at 46th with a score of 56.
The Bahamas was rated as being the least corrupt CARICOM country.
It is ranked number 24 in the world with a score of 66 while the next highest ranked Caribbean country is Barbados at position 31 with a score of 61.
Transparency International which examined 176 countries worldwide, ranked Suriname at 64 with a score of 45, up from the 36 points it had last year with Jamaica ranked at 83rd and a score of 39, down from the 41 points it scored the previous year.
The oil-rich twin island republic, Trinidad and Tobago was ranked 101 with a score of 35, lower than the 39 points it had in 2015 with Guyana ranked at 108 with a score of 34, up from the 2015 figure of 29.
“Over two-thirds of the 176 countries and territories in this year’s index fall below the midpoint of our scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). The global average score is a paltry 43, indicating endemic corruption in a country’s public sector,” Transparency International said.
According to the organisation, higher-ranked countries tend to have higher degrees of press freedom, access to information about public expenditure, stronger standards of integrity for public officials, and independent judicial systems.
However it warned that high-scoring countries cannot afford to be complacent.
“While the most obvious forms of corruption may not scar citizens’ daily lives in all these places, the higher-ranked countries are not immune to closed-door deals, conflicts of interest. illicit finance and patchy law enforcement that can distort public policy and exacerbate corruption at home and abroad,” Transparency International said in its 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index.
The organisation named Denmark with a score of 90, one point less than last year, as the least corrupt country in the world.