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Dominican Republic

Capital

Santo Domingo

Territory

48,310km²

Population (2020)

10,847,904

GDP Total (2020)

78.84B USD

GDP Per Capita (2020)

7,268 USD

Icome Group

Upper middle income

Convention Implementation

55.6
In progress

Western Hemisphere Ranking

60.7

23rd of 31 countries

Caribbean Ranking

54.7

6th of 11 countries

Corruption Resilience

56.5
Moderately Resilient

Western Hemisphere Ranking

54.4

16th of 31 countries

Caribbean Ranking

57.9

9th of 11 countries

Convention Implementation

Score by thematic sections and measures

Prevention

Core-deficient
41.6

Western Hemisphere 46.3

Caribbean 41.7

Standards of Conduct

Core-deficient
35.9

Western Hemisphere 42.8

Caribbean 24.8

Enforcement of Standards of Conduct

In progress
53.1

Western Hemisphere 50.6

Caribbean 33.4

Training of Public Officials

In progress
53.1

Western Hemisphere 36.8

Caribbean 27.4

Asset and Conflicts of Interests Declarations

Core-deficient
39.0

Western Hemisphere 42.3

Caribbean 27.9

Transparency in Government Contracting

Core-deficient
29.6

Western Hemisphere 33.1

Caribbean 22.9

Elimination of Favorable Tax Treatment

In progress
47.6

Western Hemisphere 47.1

Caribbean 31.6

Oversight Bodies

Core-deficient
34.3

Western Hemisphere 36.0

Caribbean 34.3

Measures to Deter Domestic and Foreign Bribery

In progress
43.7

Western Hemisphere 36.7

Caribbean 20.0

Encouraging Participation by Civil Society

Core-deficient
34.3

Western Hemisphere 43.0

Caribbean 21.3

Study of Other Prevention Measures

In progress
45.3

Western Hemisphere 44.9

Caribbean 42.8

Criminalization and law enforcement

In progress
45.8

Western Hemisphere 61.1

Caribbean 55.1

Protection of Those who Report Acts of Corruption

Not Implemented
3.1

Western Hemisphere 30.7

Caribbean 17.8

Scope

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 67.7

Caribbean 53.8

Jurisdiction: Offense-in-Territory

In progress
68.7

Western Hemisphere 74.6

Caribbean 60.0

Jurisdiction: Offense-by-National

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 51.9

Caribbean 27.3

Jurisdiction: Offender-in-Territory

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 58.8

Caribbean 39.5

Passive Public Bribery

Core-deficient
33.5

Western Hemisphere 55.8

Caribbean 55.8

Active Public Bribery

Core-deficient
33.5

Western Hemisphere 56.4

Caribbean 55.5

Abuse of Functions

Core-deficient
40.6

Western Hemisphere 47.0

Caribbean 37.6

Money Laundering

In progress
47.6

Western Hemisphere 55.8

Caribbean 58.5

Participation and Attempt

Core-deficient
40.6

Western Hemisphere 58.4

Caribbean 54.2

Active Foreign Bribery

In progress
57.8

Western Hemisphere 39.0

Caribbean 34.7

Illicit Enrichment

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 54.7

Caribbean 38.9

Use of State Property

Implemented
71.8

Western Hemisphere 79.5

Caribbean 66.9

Illicit Acquisition of a Benefit

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 52.1

Caribbean 36.6

Public Embezzlement

Implemented
71.8

Western Hemisphere 77.6

Caribbean 64.4

Passive Foreign Bribery

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 25.6

Caribbean 23.4

Private Bribery

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 22.7

Caribbean 21.8

Private Embezzlement

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 64.7

Caribbean 59.5

Obstruction of Justice

In progress
68.7

Western Hemisphere 71.4

Caribbean 61.1

Liability of Legal Persons

Implemented
71.8

Western Hemisphere 61.3

Caribbean 62.2

Statute of Limitations

Implemented
85.9

Western Hemisphere 79.6

Caribbean 68.

Prosecution, Adjudication and Sanctions

Implemented
82.8

Western Hemisphere 69.5

Caribbean 63.2

Consequences and Compensation

In progress
50

Western Hemisphere 70.3

Caribbean 60.4

Cooperation With Law Enforcement

Implemented
71.8

Western Hemisphere 72.2

Caribbean 66.3

Asset Recovery

In progress
45.3

Western Hemisphere 66.4

Caribbean 59.6

International cooperation

Implemented
81.4

Western Hemisphere 68.9

Caribbean 60.9

Assistance Without Criminalization

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 79.8

Caribbean 69.8

Inclusion in Extradition Treaties

In progress
71.0

Western Hemisphere 55.1

Caribbean 54.5

Convention as Legal Basis for Extradition

Implemented
85.9

Western Hemisphere 47.5

Caribbean 31.7

Automatic Application Without Treaty

Implemented
74.2

Western Hemisphere 52.7

Caribbean 49.1

Prosecution Without Extradition

In progress
65.6

Western Hemisphere 57.2

Caribbean 56.6

Custody

Implemented
85.9

Western Hemisphere 73.4

Caribbean 72.8

Assistance

Implemented
74.2

Western Hemisphere 58.0

Caribbean 50.2

Impossibility of Claiming Bank Secrecy

Implemented
85.9

Western Hemisphere 84.0

Caribbean 71.3

Limited Use of Information

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 82.6

Caribbean 71.1

Nature of Act

Implemented
96.8

Western Hemisphere 84.3

Caribbean 75.7

Designate Central Authorities

Implemented
96.8

Western Hemisphere 75.9

Caribbean 53.9

Responsibilities of Central Authorities

In progress
57.8

Western Hemisphere 71.5

Caribbean 67.1

Communication Between Central Authorities

Implemented
71.8

Western Hemisphere 67.3

Caribbean 50.8

Special Investigative Techniques

In progress
68.7

Western Hemisphere 56.9

Caribbean 48.5

Technical Cooperation

Implemented
85.9

Western Hemisphere 62.8

Caribbean 40.7

Anti-corruption conventions timeline

19961997199819992000200120022003200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018

Conventions

  • IACAC - Inter-American Convention Against Corruption
  • UNCAC - United Nations Convention against Corruption
  • OECD Anti-Bribery Convention

Key events

  • Signed
  • Ratifed / acceded
  • Review rounds

Convention Implementation Analysis

The Dominican Republic ratified the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption (IACAC) on June 2, 1999. It is a State Party to the Follow-Up Mechanism for the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (MESICIC) since June 4, 2001. The country also signed the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) on December 10, 2003, and subsequently ratified it on October 26, 2006. Accordingly, the Dominican Republic has undergone five rounds of review under MESICIC, and one round of review under the UNCAC review mechanism.

The Dominican Republic’s record in implementing its commitments to IACAC and UNCAC exhibits a number of failures and few successes, with over a third of all measures committed to found to be in progress. With an overall score of 55.7, the measures adopted place the country in the lower level of compliance with international norms—but not far from countries at the middle point—surrounded by Trinidad and Tobago (51.1), El Salvador (51.5), Belize (58.1), and Haiti (58.2). Progress in implementation is unequally distributed, while no measure in the preventive section is found to be fully or partially implemented, all fully unimplemented measures pertain to criminalization and law enforcement. The country’s efforts to implement its international commitments are mostly found within the section of international cooperation rather than across the sections of prevention and criminalization, where they are generally lacking.

The prevention of corruption is significantly deficient, classified as “core-deficient” by its average score of 41.6. The majority of measures are found to be deficient, including transparency in government contracting (29.7), the state of oversight bodies (34.4), and standards of conduct (35.9), among others. In fact, with the exceptions of the enforcement of standards of conduct and the training of public officials—both of which are in progress—all key measures within this section are considered to be deficient. On the positive side, the country’s assessment does not reveal any commitment pertaining to the prevention of corruption to be fully missing.

In terms of criminalization and law enforcement, the Dominican Republic shows only slightly better results than those regarding prevention. Significant deficiencies remain, with the majority of measures within this section classified as core-deficient or not implemented. Some measures in progress are given a score above 50, including those pertaining to the active bribery of foreign officials (57.8), embezzlement in the public sector (71.9), and the liability of legal persons (71.9). Furthermore, the country is found to have successfully implemented three commitments, among them the criminalization of embezzlement in the private sector. However, significant measures are found completely lacking—the criminalization of illicit enrichment, the illicit acquisition of a benefit (i.e., influence trading), the passive bribery of foreign officials, and bribery in the private sector—or given deficient scores, including those pertaining to active and passive bribery in the public sector and the abuse of functions.

Among the severe problems identified in connection with criminalization and law enforcement, the country’s limited jurisdiction over the offenses covered by the conventions deserves special attention, as the Dominican Republic has not established jurisdiction over offenses committed by a national or when the offender is present in its territory and it does not extradite them. On the other hand, and in contrast to those measures related to prevention and criminalization, the Dominican Republic’s active implementation of its commitments regarding international cooperation results in an average section score of 81.4, with two thirds of all of measures here receiving an “implemented” score of various degrees.

Corruption Resilience

Score by indicator

Social Context

Moderately Resilient
62.9

Western Hemisphere 64.8

Caribbean 69.3

Quality of Government

Moderately Resilient
53.7

Western Hemisphere 50.6

Caribbean 51.0

Rule of Law

Vulnerable
43.2

Western Hemisphere 51.1

Caribbean 57.1

Business Stability

Moderately Resilient
49.1

Western Hemisphere 50.5

Caribbean 52.3

Violence & Security

Resilient
73.6

Western Hemisphere 55.0

Caribbean 59.9

Corruption Resilience score over the time

Analysis

Over the last decade, the Dominican Republic’s social context score has fluctuated between the highest score (77.25) achieved in 2013 and its lowest score (61.90) attained in 2018. In 2020, the Dominican Republic’s indicator score increased by 1.14, resulting in a score of 62.97. Despite the increase, the country’s score remained below the regional average of 64.89. The Dominican Republic's 2020 score is mainly credited to the partial guarantee of political rights and civil liberties. While freedom of expression and belief remain legally protected, journalists who report on corruption or drug trafficking are exposed to threats and potential retaliation.

In terms of the quality of governance and institutions, the Dominican Republic’s score has stayed consistently moderate throughout the decade. The country’s highest recorded score was 55.13 in 2016 and its lowest was 49.98 in 2014. Despite a marginal decrease of 0.30 points from 2019 to 2020, the country’s current score (53.70) remains above the 2020 regional average of 50.63. The Dominican Republic’s quality of government indicator is primarily influenced by pervasive corruption within government and domestic institutions. Additionally, the country lacks impartial administration and serious checks on government powers.

With respect to the rule of law indicator, the Dominican Republic’s score has steadily declined since reaching its highest count (50.66) in 2010. The country’s current score (44.21) falls below the regional average by 6.94 points. The domestic factors influencing the rule of law score were primarily attributed to a weak judiciary which remains vulnerable to political pressure and corruption.

In 2020, the Dominican Republic's business stability indicator (49.15) decreased by 2.95 points from the previous year and fell just 1.31 points below the Western Hemisphere average of 50.53. Throughout the decade Dominican Republic's score has varied but consistently ranged between the mid-40s and mid-50s, where its highest score was 53.91 in 2017, and its lowest score was 46.46 in 2012. The country’s indicator score is attributed to problems with property rights and rule-based governance that significantly impact the business environment.

The Dominican Republic’s violence and security indicator reflected a 2020 score of 73.61—a 1.44-point increase from the previous year. Despite failing to meet the regional average for the previous indicators, the country’s violence and security score surpassed the regional average by 18.57 and ranked within the 75th percentile for the violence and security indicator. Over the last ten years, the country’s score has improved by nearly 8 points—expanding from a score of 65.65 in 2010 to its current score of 73.61 in 2020. According to the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC), the Dominican Republic continues to face serious challenges in the form of organized crime and drug trafficking.