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Transparency International to assess corruption in key St. Maarten institutions

WEDNESDAY, 15 JANUARY 2014

PHILIPSBURG–Global civil society organisation Transparency International will be carrying out research in St. Maarten over the coming months, using its National Integrity System assessment.

The organisation has applied this assessment in more than 100 countries and territories around the world since 2001, and will be used in St. Maarten to assess how well the island tackles corruption.

The National Integrity System assessment will evaluate important state institutions and non-state sectors, including all branches of government, the media, the public and private sectors, and civil society. The role these entities play in stopping the abuse of power, secret deals and bribery in St. Maarten will also be assessed.

National Integrity System assessments do not investigate specific corruption scandals or allegations, but looks at the underlying causes of corruption.

It looks at a country’s anti-corruption efficacy sector by sector, both in terms of its internal loopholes and of its interaction and contribution to fighting corruption in society at large. The assessment is a nuanced analysis of national efforts to stamp out corruption.

The purpose of the study is to identify the weaknesses and risk factors that foster corruption, as well as to produce medium and long term recommendations to help reduce those risks and promote practices and reforms that prevent corruption.

“We look forward to starting work on this assessment and finding ways for St. Maarten to shutdown corrupt practices at the source, whilst paving the way for greater accountability across the island,” said Alejandro Salas, Transparency International’s Regional Director for the Americas.

Transparency International is currently assessing corruption risks using the National Integrity System tool in 20 other countries, ranging from Vanuatu to Egypt to Ukraine. In St. Maarten, Transparency International will carry out the research in consultation with the stakeholders involved.

Based on in-depth interviews with those who work at the heart of St. Maarten’s major institutions, the National Integrity System assessment will not only provide a comprehensive analysis of corruption risks, but also offer credible solutions that work in practice.

“Dialogue on good governance and transparency reforms should help create a commitment across all sectors of society for institutional reform leading to better policies and more efficient practices,” Salas said.

The final report will be published independently by Transparency International at the end of 2014. It will generate anti-corruption recommendations for St. Maarten’s key institutions and sectors to work together to put in place long-term defences against corruption which, ultimately, will also help them plan for a more just society and a better future for St. Maarten.

Source: The Daily Herald, St. Maarten

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