This Anti-Corruption Helpdesk brief was produced in response to a query from a U4 Partner Agency. The U4 Helpdesk is operated by Transparency International in collaboration with the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre based at the Chr. Michelsen Institute.
We would like to learn more about the situation of corruption and anti-corruption in Guyana. With respect to corruption: What kind of corruption takes place in the country, which sectors are especially prone and who are the major actors? Our primary interest is in natural resource sectors, in particular forest and mining. With respect to anti-corruption: What are the major anti-corruption activities taking place now, what are the major programmes, who are the major actors? Finally, what are donors doing on anti-corruption in Guyana?
We have entered into cooperation with Guyana on REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation). My agency has specifically been asked to undertake a risk assessment of the cooperation. Our knowledge on corruption and governance issues in general in Guyana needs to be strengthened.
1. Overview of corruption in Guyana
2. Overview of corruption in natural resource management
3. Anti-corruption efforts in Guyana
In Guyana, economic hardship, institutional weaknesses, criminal justice inefficiencies, as well as racial fractures in society provide fertile grounds for corruption. Although there is little data and research available on the country’s state of governance and on corruption, all major governance indicators suggest high and deteriorating levels of perceived corruption in the country and the prevalence of both bureaucratic and political forms of corruption.
The scale of the informal and illegal economy is particularly notable, as it breeds criminal activities such as drug and human trafficking or illegal logging that are strongly associated with corruption and coercion.
While a series of laws and institutions have been established to tackle corruption, they face major implementation challenges due to lack of capacity, resources and trained staff. There is also little evidence of strong political will to effectively tackle corruption. Major bilateral and multilateral donors are present in Guyana, working particularly in the field of democratic governance.
There are very few publicly available sources of information about corruption and anti-corruption in Guyana, beyond the major international governance indicators. This answer is mainly based on anecdotal evidence, reports and media articles that mention corruption in very general terms. A comprehensive risk assessment of corruption risks would require more in-depth research and in-country data collection.
Marie Chêne, Transparency International, [email protected]