PARAMARIBO – Suriname is 88th on the Corruption Perception Index of Transparency International (TI), which published this list yesterday. It is not certain whether Suriname has become either more or less corrupt, as a different method was used to compile the ranking this year. In 2011, Suriname was 100th, but TI emphasizes that a comparison is not possible. “The ranking is somewhat comparable, but I would be careful with that,” a TI spokesman explains on the phone from Berlin. “Many countries have the same ranking in the middle of the index, so a small change in the scoring system can mean a huge change in the ranking.”
Suriname shares its 88th place with five other countries, including Morocco and Thailand. The country has a corruption score of 37, with 0 being the most and 100 being the least corrupt. Suriname is still under the global average score of 43. In the region, Barbados has the highest ranking (15th), and Venezuela and Haiti the lowest (165th).
“That 88th place is nothing to be proud of,” says Sharda Ganga of the foundation Projekta, which promotes democracy. “The danger of such a list is that you can rise because other countries have become more corrupt.” Legislator Carl Breeveld (DOE) says clear government measures against corruption are lacking. “This score shows we have not made much progress,” he says. Breeveld believes the will to fight corruption is lacking both in political parties and in the business world. “People who say corruption can never be rooted out are just looking for an excuse not to take action,” the legislator says. “The President has made statements against corruption, but unfortunately he is not able to deal with corrupt persons.” Breeveld calls for the appointment of an Ombudsman, and strengthening the Government Accounting Department (CLAD) and the Audit Office.
The index ranks countries based on perceptions of corruption within their public sectors. TI makes use of a total of 12 surveys of several agencies to rank a country. In Suriname’s case, TI consulted the results of three surveys, the same number as last year.