Director of the CDB’s Economics Department, Dr. Justin Ram said it was difficult to say whether countries like Guyana should take TI’s survey seriously. “That’s a very difficult one to answer. I am not sure what’s the methodology was used for that particular study,” he told Demerara Waves Online News (www.demwaves.com).
Acknowledging that the rating suggests that more needs to be done to improve governance and transparency, the CDB official said he was unsure “how seriously Guyana needs to take those particular warnings from the report.”
Determining the soundness of the methodology, he said, should include whether the relevant stakeholders were actually consulted to get a sense of what they thought. Broadly speaking, he said more needed to be done to beef up transparency and good governance. “Certainly like all governments in the Caribbean, more needs to be done in terms of ensuring that there is good transparency and that governance performs the backbone of a strong and vibrant economy,” he said.
Ram’s comments came moments after President Donald Ramotar himself called on Transparency Institute of Guyana Inc (TIGI) to release several surveys that was used by TI to arrive at Guyana’s low rating. “The first thing I would like the local body to do inb the name of transparency is to release the four surveys which was the basis of the pronouncement that they have made, to also release the sources that they used and who worked on it,” he said.
The Guyanese leader also challenged TIGI to cease engaging in conflict of interest like having their close associates being involved in meetings between A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and foreign diplomats. “I have seen some of the local stars of transparency international who talk a lot about conflict of interest- I saw them in the delegation of the APNU meeting the diplomats. I know one of them, their son is a candidate member for one of the political parties,” he said.
Ramotar wants TIGI to disclose the target group and duration of the study. “In the name of transparency, I hope that they would release that kind of information for us,” he said.
The President thumped his chest about government’s track record in the award of tenders by the opening of bids publicly in the presence of the media. He reiterated that Cabinet does not award tenders as is the case in a number of Caribbean countries.