According to US State Department report, allegations of corruption remains common in Guyana.
According to Transparency International’s 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), Guyana is ranked 108 out of 176 countries for perceptions of corruption, improving by 11 slots from its rank as 124 the previous year.
The body noted that the government passed legislation in 1997 that requires public officials to disclose their assets to an Integrity Commission prior to assuming office, but presently the Integrity Commission has not been constituted and remains inoperative. Public officials’ compliance with the legislation is, therefore, uneven, the body noted.
Further, Transparency International noted that the Procurement Act of 2003 provides for the establishment of an oversight body, a Public Procurement Commission and the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB), which handles day-to-day operations and that The Minister of Finance appoints the members of this Board. The Public Procurement Commission’s (PPC) job is to ensure transparency and accountability throughout the government procurement process, including in regards to the NPTAB’s operations.
The current coalition APNU-AFC government stated before it came into office, in May 2015, that one of its top priorities would be the timely appointment of the PPC. On November 2, 2016, it announced the appointment of five members to the PPC. The Commissioners subsequently selected a chairperson, but there are widespread concerns about inefficiencies and corruption regarding the awarding of contracts, particularly with respect to concerns of collusion and non-transparency.
In his annual report, the Auditor General noted continuous disregard for the procedures, rules, and the laws that govern public procurement systems. The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2015-2016 identified inefficient government bureaucracy as the largest obstacle to doing business in Guyana, followed by corruption. Corruption discourages potential foreign direct investments and foreign investors, and it also undermines economic development and growth.
As mentioned above, Guyana ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption in 2008. Guyana is neither a member of the OECD nor a signatory to OECD Anti-Bribery Convention.