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Lack of e-governance services leads to Corruption in the Caribbean: IDB Study

Lack of e-governance service is forcing people to pay bribes in many Caribbean countries, says the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), adding that Guyana is the most corrupt of the five countries it surveyed.

In Guyana, 27 percent of respondents said they had to pay a bribe to access a public service, the highest proportion in the region.

The second most corrupt country is The Bahamas, where 20% of respondents talked about corruption. Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago also fared poorly on the corruption index.

Considering the report, Barbados is less corrupt, with only 9 percent of the surveyed admitting that they paid bribes to access public services.

Lack of transparency and poorly managed e-governance services are largely responsible for corruption. Also, government agencies are not equipped with the necessary infrastructure to provide services online.

“Even if governments make an effort to put transactions online and citizens can, in theory, access them, oftentimes their experiences are negative. A lack of usability of government websites leads them to fail in their attempts to access services,” the report noted.

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Digital signature is not valid in many countries. While some states have enacted a law to recognize the digital signature, most of the private and public institutions in those countries are not aware of it, the report noted.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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