Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 10th 2013 Contents A32
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, June 10, 2013
Need Prompt VISA Approval?
Get IntraMed Visa!
The Travel Protection Plan that satisfies your embassy medical requirements.
Helps You Get Your VISA Approved!!
IntraMed VISAtakes the risk out of getting your VISA approved.
Designed for International Travellers like you!
If you are unsuccessful, you get your money back!
(A minor membership-processing fee apply)
Get The Preferred Choice!
Get Worldwide Travel Protection. Ask for IntraMed VISA
Call or Visit your Travel Agency today!
Alternatively, Call or Visit Mediserv International at:
San Fernando: 657-3812
Port of Spain: 627-0473
or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
IntraMed VISA is a Membership Travel & Medical Plan for members of the V.I.P.
Serving you since 1997
To become a member call us or visit your travel agency today.
A venture of the Ventures & Investments Programme (VIP) 1121014
E IDENTIAL/COMME CIAL/FI EA M/
FLOO AND ECU IT AFE
2 D A E
EA TE N AUCTION MA T LTD
#76 E stern M in o , L ventille
Tel: 1-868-623-2819 Tel/F x: 1-868-625-8517
Em il: ee stern76@gm il. om
e site: e stern u tionm rt. om0430097
Queen of the kitchen
Q ite a refre hi g read f r a S day r i g.
Partic larly e j yed the drawi g a well! Tha k
Law Association still silent on e-mails
Gi e that the e- ail ha e yet t be
a the ticated, it i re re ible t h ld ff
c e t a d ec lati til ch ti e.
P litic are be t left t the liticia .
Making up protocol as we go along
The big e ti y ha e t a wer Mr
Br e i , why i the Pre ide t f the Re blic
at the air rt eeti g a elected fficial fr
a ther c try Hi iti , which i largely
cere ial, h ld be t e tertai the dig itarie
at hi re ide ce whe they ay their c rte y
He ha e t red i t ew la d , with which I
ha e r ble , h we er, ew la d ea
cha gi g r le a d e e creati g ew r le .
Distance firetruck fell in contention
All irrele a t! Whether it fell e f t r a 1
feet. Y . N t e f th e i l ed w ld ha e
d e it if it wa their ey. Y d t e d .5
illi t al age 2.5 illi . If y d thi k thi
ake e e the y h ld t be r i g a
Leave no big stone unturned
Certai artie i the PP ha e already declared
the c te ti e ail t be fabricati ia the
ex erti e they hired t declare blicly their
i ce ce. H w d e thi gell with ha i g
i de e de t ex ert c d ct i e tigati i t
thi w c tr er ial atter If the latter'
fi di g c tradict th e f the f r er ex ert , I
a k, WHAT NEXT
Diplomacy---an evolving art
Well aid Mr Charle . Let c ti e i g
f rward i a atte t t eet the challe ge
ahead. Hi t ry i great b t ly t re i d what
we t bef re.
Afew weekends ago the topic of Bajan
news programme Time To Face The
Facts was corruption in the Caribbean.
Between them, Afra Raymond, Presi-
dent of the Joint Consultative Council
for the Construction Industry (JCC), and
host Jerry George provided many
insights worth disseminating.
In terms of a definition, corruption
was described as the practice of abusing
a position of trust, most often in secre-
cy. For example, people in positions of
power who offer jobs and contracts they
shouldn t be awarding.
From outright fraud and theft, corrup-
tion also includes, among other things,
ill-conceived projects and inappropriate
spending. Nepotism too.
Interestingly, when the international
community discusses nepotism as cor-
ruption they identify blood ties among
Regionally, due to the particular histo-
ries of the Caribbean, many of us grow
up in extended families with fictive kin
(people we consider family but to whom
we are not related by blood) and nepo-
tism here extends well beyond blood
Another point raised was that, in a
general sense, there is the tendency to
see corruption as essentially something
found in the public sector; but it is also
important to recognise there is an abun-
dance of corruption in the private sector
too---CLICO a prime example.
The media, too, has a role to play in
the way corruption is understood.
Due to under-reporting and focus on
sensational violent crime, the fourth
estate can at best be said to have a
blind spot for corruption and at worst
we might say there has been a corrup-
tion of the media.
To better understand corruption, Mr
Raymond offered three myths about it.
The first myth was that corruption is
not really a crime, that, for example,
nepotism isn t corruption.
It is just doing things for your family.
Or when the media, government, or
public speaks about crime figures, they
rarely include corruption in those fig-
ures. The second myth was that even if
there is something identifiable as cor-
ruption, it isn t widespread; corruption
is just a small inconvenience.
As Raymond points out elsewhere, the
collapsed building in Bangladesh and
some vehicular accidents here in T&T
both could perhaps be linked to corrup-
tion---the first in constructing a struc-
ture three floors higher than building
permits allowed, the second in the
licensing office allowing drivers and cars
on the road that are not road worthy.
The third myth was there is nothing
you can do about corruption. This myth
stood out most.
For starters, even those like Mr Ray-
mond who are trying to bring corrup-
tion to light admit that measuring cor-
ruption is nearly impossible.
Yes, there is an International Corrup-
tion Perception Index, and investigations
when and if something goes wrong. But
the actual empirical measurement of
corruption is difficult since it is mostly
Interestingly, Mr Raymond pointed out
that Barbados, where there are none of
the fundamental integrity institutions of
T&T---such as a supposedly independent
DPP, the Freedom of Information Act
and the Integrity Commission---ranks 15
in the Corruption Perception Index.
T&T comes in at number 80.
This, as Mr George pointed out, sug-
gests that key to tackling corruption is
how seriously governments and the
public take corruption.
Another important insight was how
could people identify corruption? Mr
Raymond offered three markers of cor-
1) An experienced person or institu-
tion is suddenly pushed into a position
of great authority.
2) The thing that has to be done---say
the building of a highway---has to be
constructed so quickly there isn t time
to discuss it, and
3) Everything connected to the con-
tract for the job is done so quickly, and
with so much inexperience by those
involved, that the financial figures can-
not be exposed until contracts are
signed. Hearing these, a number of past
and current construction jobs in T&T
spring to mind.
Over time, corruption can provide
certain groups in society with continued
social and economic advantages over
In this sense, corruption is an eco-
nomic crime. In academic circles eco-
nomic justice refers to the implicit sense
of morality that should be contained in
the principles driving the decision-mak-
ing of people and institutions.
Specifically, economic justice is the
idea that equitable participation, distri-
bution and harmony are needed in order
to counter the way corruption provides
economic advantages for some over oth-
So what can we do about corruption?
Suggestions included robust regulations,
civil society involvement in oversight of
the procurement process, access to
information, an alternative to the racial
and ethnic politics that have defined our
last 50 years, and also the suggestion
that we need an anti-corruption political
party. In goes without saying that these
are all facts we have to face up to.
Dr Dylan Kerrigan is an anthropologist
at UWI, St Augustine
TIME TO FACE THE FACTS
Dr Dyla Kerriga
Links Archive June 9th 2013 June 11th 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page