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T&T ranked 73rd on corruption scale

By Curtis Rampersad Business Editor

Trinidad and Tobago has been ranked as the 73rd least corrupt country in the world in a survey by Transparency International.

The Corruption Perceptions Index 2010 released yesterday around the world surveyed 178 countries and was launched in Trinidad and Tobago at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine.

Trinidad and Tobago —which first appeared in the global CPI survey in 2001—moved up to 73rd this year from a ranking of 79 in 2009.

The CPI ranks countries according to the degree by which politicians and public officials are perceived to be corrupt by senior resident business leaders and nonresident analysts, the Trinidad and Tobago Transparency Institute said in a statement yesterday.

It scores countries on a scale from zero to ten, with zero indicating the highest level of perceived corruption and ten indicating the lowest level of perceived corruption.

With a CPI score of 3.6 and a ranking of 73 out of 178 countries, the senior business leaders surveyed and the analysts used were clearly of the view that transparency, accountability and good governance continue to be in need of strengthening in order to reduce corruption in Trinidad and Tobago, the TTTI said, adding that although the country moved up the CPI ranking there had been no change in the CPI score for the past three years (2008-present).

"This is the case even though the national community continues to express concern with the level of corruption that now exists, as can be seen from the amount of media coverage continually given to the issue. It would seem as though having expressed the problem, as a nation we are still not able to come up with the solutions and implement them," the institute said.

"Trinidad and Tobago was included in the Index for the first time in 2001 when we scored 5.3 out of 10. (A country perceived as free of corruption would score ten.) Our ranking declined every year reaching a low of 79 in 2006 and 2007. In 2008 Trinidad and Tobago's score rose from 3.4 to 3.6 where it remain for three consecutive years (2008- 2010)," the TTTI said.

Somalia was seen as the most corrupt country in the world with Afghanistan and Iraq also near the bottom of the survey.

Denmark, New Zealand and Singapore were perceived to be the least corrupt and scored more than nine points each.

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