Panama Improves Slightly on Transparency International’s Perception of Corruption Report

Panama Improves Slightly on Transparency International’s Perception of Corruption Report

Wednesday, October 27 2010 @ 10:56 AM EDT
Contributed by: Don Winner
Views: 77
Panama registered a slight improvement in the rate of Perception of Corruption for 2010, going from a score of 3.4 to 3.6. The report, prepared by Transparency International, is measured on a scale of 0 to 10, where 10 represents the lowest level of perceived corruption and 0 the highest. According to the study, 75% of countries achieved rates below 5.0, which is still “worrying.” High levels of corruption threaten the livelihoods of many people, the commitments of governments in the fight against corruption, transparency and accountability.
Much Left To Do: For Carlos Gasnell, of the Transparency International chapter in Panama, this slight improvement is not much cause for pride in Panama because there is still much to do. In recent years Panama has maintained a rate between 3.1 and 3.6. “We might feel some relief if Panama is ever rated among the 25% oc countries ranked between 5 and 10 on the index, which would require deep and important institutional changes,” he said. He said that issues such as the adoption of a Conflict of Interest Act, a law to better govern Civil Service, competition in professional positions, and a law to guarantee Witness Protection are some of the laws that should be adopted by the state.

Latin America is concerned: Only Chile and Uruguay are among the 25 countries with a low perception of corruption, ranked 7.2 and 6.9, respectively. And Costa Rica is the only country in Central America that showed a rate of 5.3. Several countries fell in the index because of the international economic crisis, which was accompanied by a lack of transparency and integrity in business relationships. TI calls for stronger measures to strengthen governance. (Panama America)