Guyana could slip further on ‘biased’ corruption index as APNU+AFC lapses are exposed – Jagdeo
Guyana slipped two points down, ranking 87 out of 180 countries, in the 2021 Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) Report.
Although the report came out during the People’s Progressive Party’s Civic (PPP/C) first full year term in office, Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo said on Thursday that it deals largely with the wrongdoings by the APNU+AFC government which is now being exposed.
He fears that as the 2017 Auditor General report is examined over the next few months and with investigations progressing into other procurement breaches by the former government, Guyana could slip further when the 2022 report is released.
“Frankly speaking, I’m surprised we only slipped two points and my fear is that we could possibly go lower when we start and the media coverage starts coming out,” Jagdeo told reporters during a press conference at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre.
“There are a lot of transgressions and trust me they were egregious transgressions involving serious violations that you wouldn’t find in any PPP era,” Jagdeo added.
According to Jagdeo, not only are there outstanding audit reports that address the APNU+AFC term in office, but there were still active investigations into other procurement breaches involving the Cabinet.
He singled out the drug bond scandal and said it is “yet to be explored in full its manifestation.”
“What will come out also is that the last government, without Parliament and after the government had fallen, spent $419 billion without Parliament oversight… that will come out,” Jagdeo said.
Jagdeo accused Transparency International (TI) of being biased and its local partner – Transparency International Guyana Institute (TIGI) – of having an anti-PPP agenda.
“They assess countries but they don’t care about APNU or PPP and we don’t know what TIGI have been submitting in their report. They were mute during APNU and now they are aggressive again. They seem to have an anti-PPP agenda and we don’t get to see the report they send.
“It would be useful for them to publish that report they send to Transparency International,” Jagdeo reasoned.
Additionally, Jagdeo said he believes that TI is biased against the developing world, particularly people who are darker.
The Vice President said the international corruption rating body does not only look at corruption in government circles but also across the judiciary.
“It’s not just executive performance… they look at civil liberties and who tried to snatch that away from us?
“When people assess these, they often say it’s corruption in government but they assess the country and a lot of these issues are often with a lag effect where what happens in the past catches up with you,” the Vice President said.
He assured that the government will do its best to demonstrate that Guyana has a robust system to guard against corruption.