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Guyana

Capital

Georgetown

Territory

196,850km²

Population (2020)

786,559

GDP Total (2020)

5.471B USD

GDP Per Capita (2020)

6,956 USD

Icome Group

Upper middle income

Convention Implementation

49.0
In progress

Western Hemisphere Ranking

60.7

27th of 31 countries

South America Ranking

63.2

11th of 12 countries

Corruption Resilience

56.8
Moderately Resilient

Western Hemisphere Ranking

54.4

15th of 31 countries

South America Ranking

53.9

5th of 12 countries

Convention Implementation

Score by thematic sections and measures

Prevention

Core-deficient
32.0

Western Hemisphere 46.3

South America 47.3

Standards of Conduct

Core-deficient
35.9

Western Hemisphere 42.8

South America 48.0

Enforcement of Standards of Conduct

In progress
43.7

Western Hemisphere 50.6

South America 58.7

Training of Public Officials

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 36.8

South America 44.5

Asset and Conflicts of Interests Declarations

In progress
43.7

Western Hemisphere 42.3

South America 45.8

Transparency in Government Contracting

Core-deficient
40.6

Western Hemisphere 33.1

South America 40.3

Elimination of Favorable Tax Treatment

In progress
57.8

Western Hemisphere 47.1

South America 49.2

Oversight Bodies

Core-deficient
18.7

Western Hemisphere 36.0

South America 37.6

Measures to Deter Domestic and Foreign Bribery

In progress
50.7

Western Hemisphere 36.7

South America 40.6

Encouraging Participation by Civil Society

Core-deficient
28.9

Western Hemisphere 43.0

South America 52.8

Study of Other Prevention Measures

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 44.9

South America 48.1

Criminalization and law enforcement

In progress
48.8

Western Hemisphere 61.1

South America 64.1

Protection of Those who Report Acts of Corruption

Core-deficient
12.5

Western Hemisphere 30.7

South America 34.8

Scope

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 67.7

South America 75

Jurisdiction: Offense-in-Territory

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 74.6

South America 77.8

Jurisdiction: Offense-by-National

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 51.9

South America 62.6

Jurisdiction: Offender-in-Territory

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 58.8

South America 79.1

Passive Public Bribery

Core-deficient
31.2

Western Hemisphere 55.8

South America 55.3

Active Public Bribery

Core-deficient
31.2

Western Hemisphere 56.4

South America 55.3

Abuse of Functions

In progress
47.6

Western Hemisphere 47.0

South America 48.4

Money Laundering

In progress
47.6

Western Hemisphere 55.8

South America 54.3

Participation and Attempt

Core-deficient
26.5

Western Hemisphere 58.4

South America 56.4

Active Foreign Bribery

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 39.0

South America 34.4

Illicit Enrichment

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 54.7

South America 59.2

Use of State Property

In progress
54.6

Western Hemisphere 79.5

South America 85.5

Illicit Acquisition of a Benefit

Core-deficient
35.9

Western Hemisphere 52.1

South America 59.5

Public Embezzlement

In progress
54.6

Western Hemisphere 77.6

South America 83.2

Passive Foreign Bribery

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 25.6

South America 22.0

Private Bribery

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 22.7

South America 26.4

Private Embezzlement

Implemented
82.8

Western Hemisphere 64.7

South America 70.4

Obstruction of Justice

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 71.4

South America 79.1

Liability of Legal Persons

Implemented
71.8

Western Hemisphere 61.3

South America 60.6

Statute of Limitations

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 79.6

South America 84.3

Prosecution, Adjudication and Sanctions

Core-deficient
40.6

Western Hemisphere 69.5

South America 71.2

Consequences and Compensation

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 70.3

South America 77.4

Cooperation With Law Enforcement

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 72.2

South America 72.9

Asset Recovery

Implemented
82.8

Western Hemisphere 66.4

South America 68.4

International cooperation

In progress
60.9

Western Hemisphere 68.9

South America 72.5

Assistance Without Criminalization

Implemented
96.8

Western Hemisphere 79.8

South America 82.8

Inclusion in Extradition Treaties

Core-deficient
21.8

Western Hemisphere 55.1

South America 55.3

Convention as Legal Basis for Extradition

Core-deficient
28.9

Western Hemisphere 47.5

South America 55.2

Automatic Application Without Treaty

Core-deficient
40.6

Western Hemisphere 52.7

South America 54.9

Prosecution Without Extradition

In progress
54.6

Western Hemisphere 57.2

South America 58.7

Custody

In progress
57.8

Western Hemisphere 73.4

South America 70.1

Assistance

In progress
54.6

Western Hemisphere 58.0

South America 64.6

Impossibility of Claiming Bank Secrecy

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 84.0

South America 86.3

Limited Use of Information

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 82.6

South America 89.5

Nature of Act

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 84.3

South America 83.3

Designate Central Authorities

Implemented
78.1

Western Hemisphere 75.9

South America 86.5

Responsibilities of Central Authorities

In progress
57.8

Western Hemisphere 71.5

South America 74.9

Communication Between Central Authorities

In progress
57.8

Western Hemisphere 67.3

South America 78.3

Special Investigative Techniques

Not Implemented
7.0

Western Hemisphere 56.9

South America 52.0

Technical Cooperation

In progress
57.8

Western Hemisphere 62.8

South America 78.3

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

Guyana signed the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption (IACAC) on March 29, 1996, and ratified it on December 11, 2000. It is a State Party to the Follow-Up Mechanism for the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (MESICIC) since June 4, 2002. The country also acceded to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) on April 16, 2008. Accordingly, Guyana has undergone five rounds of review under MESICIC, and one round of review under the UNCAC review mechanism.

Guyana’s record in implementing its commitments to IACAC and UNCAC exhibits a large number of failures and a few successes, with almost half of all measures committed to found to be deficient at core or unimplemented. With an overall score of 49.1, the measures adopted place the country squarely in the lower level of compliance with international norms, surrounded by Dominica (38.4), Saint Vincent (46.7), Grenada (50.8), and Trinidad and Tobago (51.1). Although the country evidences a gradual increase in the rate success from one section of measures to the other, the difference is not enough to bring special attention to the distribution of efforts. Yet, as is the case throughout the region, the prevention of corruption receives a lower score (32.0) than both criminalization and law enforcement (48.8) and international cooperation (60.9). Overall, it may be said that Guyana’s efforts are generally lacking across the range of measures required by the conventions.

The prevention of corruption is significantly deficient, classified as “core-deficient” and with over three quarters of all measures in this section found to be deficient or unimplemented. Deficient measures include the state of oversight bodies (18.8), initiatives to encourage the participation of civil society (28.9), and the standards of conduct (35.9) and their enforcement (43.8), among others. Concerning the oversight bodies in the country, the report of the fourth round of review of MESICIC (adopted in 2014) highlights severe problems within the Judicial Service Commission (“the President and the Leader of the Opposition have not been able to agree on the appointment of the Chancellor of the Judiciary for almost ten years” and “other two or three members… have not been appointed either”), the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (it “does not have investigative powers”), and the Audit Office (its budget “only represents approximately 0.2% of the national budget” and it relies on international grants). Furthermore, the training of public officials and the study of preventive measures related to equitable compensation are considered to be fully missing. Within this section, only two measures reach the classification of “in progress”: actions to deter domestic and foreign bribery related to accounting regulations, and the elimination of favorable tax treatment for corrupt expenditure.

In terms of criminalization and law enforcement, Guyana shows better results than those regarding prevention—yet, significant deficiencies remain, with almost half of all of measures within this section classified as core-deficient or not implemented. The country is found to have successfully implemented several key commitments—including the criminalization of illicit enrichment. Whereas significant measures are found completely lacking—the criminalization of active and passive bribery of foreign officials and bribery in the private sector. Other measures are found deficient at core, including the protection of those who report acts of corruption (i.e., whistleblower protection) (12.5) and those pertaining to active and passive bribery in the public sector (both scoring 31.3) and the illicit acquisition of a benefit (i.e., influence trading) (35.9), among others.

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 Guyana has not established jurisdiction over offenses committed in its territory or by a national, or when the offender is present in its territory, and it does not extradite them. Guyana’s record in promoting and engaging with international cooperation is also lackluster, yet it receives a general classification of “in progress.” Among the bigger issues reported by the UNCAC review mechanism are the findings that “extradition is limited to Commonwealth countries” and the United States of America (the sole country with which Guyana has concluded an extradition treaty); and that the two-years-minimum threshold for extraditable offenses “means that not all Convention offenses are extraditable offenses.” 

Corruption Resilience

Score by indicator

Social Context

Moderately Resilient
65.4

Western Hemisphere 64.8

South America 64.2

Quality of Government

Moderately Resilient
50.3

Western Hemisphere 50.6

South America 52.4

Rule of Law

Moderately Resilient
53.2

Western Hemisphere 51.1

South America 50.7

Business Stability

Moderately Resilient
47.6

Western Hemisphere 50.5

South America 48.1

Violence & Security

Moderately Resilient
67.5

Western Hemisphere 55.0

South America 54.4

Corruption Resilience score over the time

Analysis

Guyana's social context indicator declined in 2020 by 0.90 points from the previous year, resulting in a score of 65.44 which surpasses the Western Hemisphere regional average of 64.89 by 0.55 points. Since 2010, the country's score has been declining by approximately 0.05 and 1.5 points. Over the decade, the mini-max range for Guyana fluctuated between 65.44 (2020) and 70.43 (2010), with a range of 4.99 points. Guyana's social context indicator score within South American countries is a moderate performer (6/12), with Uruguay being a top performer for South America. The country's social context indicator has been consistently high to moderate mainly because civil liberties and political rights have largely been respected. However, according to Reporters Without Borders, press freedoms are restricted when journalist investigations or reports disagree with the narratives produced by the political party in power.

The country's quality of government indicator declined in 2020 by 0.75 points from the previous year, resulting in a score of 50.39, which falls below the Western Hemisphere regional average of 50.63 by 0.24 points. However, the country’s score has steadily improved over the last decade. Guyana achieved its highest social context score of 52.32 in 2018 and its lowest score of 45.76 in 2012. Guyana is ranked within the top 5 performing countries in the South American region, with Uruguay holding the highest rank within the subregion. The country's quality of government score is primarily attributed to corruption and government inefficiencies.

With regard to the rule of law indicator, Guyana's 2020 score declined by 1.03 points from the previous year. The indicator's Western Hemisphere regional 2020 average was 51.15, and Guyana's score was 2.11 points above the regional average. Like the social context indicator, Guyana’s scores across the rule of law indicator placed the country within the top performing countries in the South American region, with Chile holding the highest rank for the subregion. Over the last decade, the mini-max range for Guyana was 42.07 (2011) and 54.29 (2019), with a range of 7.81 points. During this time, the country has consistently held an average score for the indicator, which has been largely shaped by political disputes that destabilize the efficiency of the judiciary.

The country's business stability indicator for 2020 increased by 1.33 points from the previous year resulting in a score of 47.66, which fails to meet the Western Hemisphere average of 50.53 by 2.87 points for 2020. Since 2010, the country's score has varied, where its highest score was of 47.66 was attained in 2020 and its lowest score of 42.21 was reached in 2015. The country's score is mainly influenced by complex and ineffective regulations which impact the private sector disproportionally and remain unevenly enforced.

With respect to the violence and security indicator, Guyana's 2020 score rose by 11.22 points from the previous year. The country's indicator score surpassed the Western Hemisphere average of 55.04 by 12.55 points. Over the last ten years Guyana’s indicator score range between its highest score of 56.37 in 2019 and 67.59 in 2020. While the country has witnessed improvements in its score during this period, the score remains impacted by serious challenges posed by organized crime.