Guyana’s private sector bribery for services highest in the Caribbean- IDB survey

A small number of private businesses in Guyana pay bribes for government services, but that figure is still high compared to the rest of the Caribbean, according to an Inter-American Development (IDB) publication.

Titled “Constraints Affecting Guyana’s Private Sector: Survey Results”, the authors Guyanese economist Sukrishnalall Pasha, and Elton Bollers and Mark Wenner of the IDB found that the bribe paid for various government services is approximately 4 percent, significantly higher than the regional average of 1.8 percent and the highest in the Caribbean.

“The cost incurred by businesses in Guyana related to making informal payments (or bribes) to ‘get things done’ is higher than the amount paid by their counterparts in the Caribbean,” the document published last month states.

Ahead of electricity, the IDB Caribbean Group document states that the survey found that “corruption was the second highest-ranked constraint identified by businesses as the most serious obstacle with 34.45 percent of firms viewing corruption as a major obstacle while 43.7 percent consider it a very scarce obstacle.

The authors found that notwithstanding the claim that corruption is a major or severe obstacle, a relatively small percentage of firms surveyed indicated they were expected to pay a bribe to obtain an operating license (1.9 percent), electrical connection (1.7), telephone connection (1.7percent), import license (1.7 percent), water connection (0.8 percent), and construction permit (0.8 percent).

Further the survey findings show that approximately 6.7 percent of the firms indicated they were expected to pay a bribe to obtain the contract, while 3.3 percent of the firms  claimed they were expected to pay a bribe to tax officers.

The survey results show that the cost of cost of the bribe is relatively higher for businesses in the following sectors: machinery and equipment (25 percent of annual sales), fabricated metal products (11.7 percent of annual sales), and wholesale (10 percent of annual sales).

The data was drawn from a PROductivity, TEchnology and INnovation survey (PROTEqIN) survey by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), in collaboration with Compete Caribbean.