Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 5th 2013 Contents A11
Thursday, December 5, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
South businessmen say the coun-
try s decline in the Corruption Per-
ception Index (CPI) is a clear indi-
cation that more has to be done to
address corruption issues.
Figures released by T&T Trans-
parency Institute on Tuesday
showed T&T dropped from 80 to
83, tying with Jamaica and Guyana
as the Caribbean s sixth-ranked
Commenting on the decline,
Greater Chaguanas Chamber of
Industry and Commerce president
Richie Sookhai was he was not too
worried. He believes it was as a result
of the hectic election year.
Sookhai, in a telephone interview
on Tuesday said: "This is really a
"From what I have seen, the Gov-
ernment has shown that they are
dealing with any allegations of cor-
ruption, for example the SNC-Lavalin
"You have to understand that the
index will be higher (because) we had
four elections in a year. I will expect
rumours of corruption. I am not sur-
prised by that index at all."
He said it was not that the Gov-
ernment was not dealing with cor-
ruption but just that it had more
work to do.
"There was also a survey that said
we are one of the happiest countries
in the world," he added.
The Government was forced to
cancel an arrangement with the
Canadian Commercial Corporation,
to allow SNC-Lavalin, a discredited
Canadian firm, to construct the $1
billion Penal hospital.
San Fernando Business
San Fernando Business Association
president Daphne Bartlett said per-
ception was greater than the truth.
She said: "If the perception is that
there is more corruption this year
than the previous year, something is
making people feel that checks and
balances are not what they are sup-
posed to be, for example, in recent
times the issue with purchases of
cars by senior government officials
who are entitled to car allowances."
She said whether or not the alle-
gations were true, the perception was
that the entitlement was being
She also recalled that under the
last regime, because of the Calder
Hart controversy, the perception of
corruption was very high.
Although the perception has
improved since then, she said: "The
various authorities should be putting
measures in place to deal with that
kind of perception, whether it is true
The Point Fortin/South Western
Chamber president, Nigel Minors,
expressed concern about the impact
the rating would have on international
He said: "As business people our
major concern is the lack of further
"I am hoping that all the powers
that be that have all the wherewithal
will do so with dispatch so we will
start to see an improvement instead
of going further down (the CPI)."
Based on his experience on the
international business front, he said:
"We seriously need to get out of that
perception... it is not where we want
to be for a number of reasons."
Penal/Debe Chamber of Com-
merce president Sahid Hosein was
He said: "That is hardly surprising
because we have become a very cor-
rupt society where people like to
point fingers but we are missing the
important point that regardless of
who they are, they come from soci-
ety... they are a product and result
"We don t seem to understand by
our attitude we are setting the seeds
to destroy what we call T&T."
Unfortunately, he said, the insti-
tutions that dealt with corruption
were not up to the task because of
staff and resource shortages.
Regardless of which administration
was in power, he said, corruption
continued to thrive.
People, he said, had to become
serious and demand accountability.
South business groups on drop in ratings...
Govt must do more
to wipe out corruption
The Global Organisation of
Parliamentarians Against Cor-
ruption (Gopac) is hosting an
anti-corruption conference for
Caribbean parliamentarians in
Port-of-Spain today and
Delegates from nine Caribbean
states are expected to attend.
The regional chapter of the
Gopac is expected to be
launched during the two-day
Several Members of Parlia-
ment are scheduled to attend
the event, organisers said.
A release from Gopac said the
regional chapter would provide
Regional MPs hold talks in PoS today
parliamentarians with the tools
and support to fight corruption
and promotion of good gover-
nance in the Caribbean and inter-
It comes days after the 2013
Corruption Perception Index
report by Transparency Interna-
tional show T&T dropping three
positions in the rankings.
The report, which was released
on Tuesday, said T&T dropped to
position 83 from 80 in 2012.
Speaker Wade Mark and Senate
President Timothy Hamel-Smith
are among those who are listed
to address the opening session at
the J Hamilton Maurice Room,
Tower D, Wrightson Road, Port-
• A C
• C A
• p A C p
• p D A
C p A
TOPICS TO BE DISCUSSED INCLUDE
Links Archive December 4th 2013 December 6th 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page