T&T high on int'l business bribery list

Trinidad and Tobago has been listed as one of the countries with the highest business bribery scores by US anti-bribery organisation TRACE Inc.

The study, which was released this year by TRACE International, rated Trinidad and Tobago at a worrying 134 out of 199 countries, which puts the country with an overall risk score of 67 percent. 

The study looked at Business Interactions with the Government, Anti-bribery Laws and Enforcement, Government and Civil Service Transparency and Capacity for Civil Society Oversight, including the role of the media – as well as nine subdomains. Developed in collaboration with RAND Corporation, the TRACE Matrix was originally published in 2014 and is updated every two years by TRACE.

The four domain scores are weighted and combined and a risk penalty is added for individual domain scores that exceed the overall country risk score.

Each country is given a score from 1 to 100 for each domain, and for the total bribery risk.

Trinidad and Tobago measures high on the list with highest score being that of business interactions with Government at 73, which is based on "a moderate degree of government interaction, moderate regulatory burden, and a high expectation of bribes," according to the study.

With regard to 'Anti-Bribery Laws and Enforcement', the country scored 38 in this domain, based on a "high quality of anti-bribery laws and a moderate quality of anti-bribery enforcement".

The country scored 59 in 'Government and Civil Services Transparency' which was based on "on moderate governmental transparency and moderate civil-service transparency/health".

In terms of 'Capacity for Civil Society Oversight' Trinidad and Tobago scores 33 in this domain, based on a "high degree of media freedom/quality and a high degree of social development".

Information for the study was obtained from leading public interest and international organizations, including the United Nations, the World Bank and the World Economic Forum.

Based on statistical analysis of this information, each country is assigned not only an overall score between 1 and 100 - with 100 representing the greatest risk—but also scores for each of the four domains and nine subdomains.

The company says this detailed information can help companies assess the specific risks presented in each country and design compliance and due diligence programs targeted to those risks.

"By providing granular business bribery risk information, the TRACE Matrix has helped us refine our internal anti-corruption risk matrix and to identify in which markets we will conduct in-person anti-corruption monitoring visits," said Gregory Bates, Director of Ethics & Compliance LATAM at Avon Products, Inc.

Some of the 'cleanest' countries include Sweden, with a score of 10, followed by New Zealand at 15 and Estonia at 17.

The most bribery-prone country in the world is Nigeria, with a score of 99, followed by Cambodia (92), Guinea (92), Yemen (93) and Angola (96).

Russia's bribery score has actually improved from a score of 65 two years ago to 58 today. 

China, despite a huge anti-corruption drive in Beijing, sits immobile with a score of 66.

For the full study see here: http://bit.ly/2gZCzYv