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Transparency group concerned

By Carla Bridglal

Trinidad and Tobago Transparency Institute (TTTI) chairman Deryck Murray said yesterday the institute was looking into reports of the reinstatement of the Flying Squad police unit.

"It's not so much a corruption issue, but transparency and accountability. What we are in at the moment is information gathering because it is in the public domain ... we are trying to find out what are really the facts before we make any conclusions," Murray told reporters during the launch of the Institute's Civil Society Accountability Handbook at The Normandie Hotel, St Ann's, yesterday.

The handbook is intended to be a framework or template for the establishment of governing structures within civil society organisations (CSO).

"CSOs tend to demand and call for proper ethics, transparency and accountability from the entities with which they lobby and it is only fair these organisations should observe and demonstrate the same principles," Murray said.

He noted that in the last Transparency International Corruption Perception Index, Trinidad and Tobago ranked 80 out of 178 countries, with a score of 39 out of 100.

Murray said while it was difficult to measure if Government had implemented (successfully) any anti-corruption measures, Transparency International will be using a new methodology to measure country scores for 2013.

He also said the institute will reserve comment on the Point Fortin Highway Review Committee's report prepared by Senator James Armstrong until the report has been officially released.

TTTI was one of several CSO lobby groups that had petitioned the Government last November to consider an independent review of the highway in light of a request and hunger strike by environmental activist Dr Wayne Kublalsingh.

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