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Trinidad and Tobago

Capital

Port of Spain

Territory

5,130km²

Population (2020)

1,399,491

GDP Total (2020)

21.53B USD

GDP Per Capita (2020)

15,384 USD

Icome Group

High income

Convention Implementation

51.0
In progress

Western Hemisphere Ranking

60.7

25th of 31 countries

Caribbean Ranking

54.7

7th of 11 countries

Corruption Resilience

60.4
Moderately Resilient

Western Hemisphere Ranking

54.4

12th of 31 countries

Caribbean Ranking

57.9

7th of 11 countries

Convention Implementation

Score by thematic sections and measures

Prevention

Core-deficient
41.7

Western Hemisphere 46.3

Caribbean 41.7

Standards of Conduct

Core-deficient
28.9

Western Hemisphere 42.8

Caribbean 24.8

Enforcement of Standards of Conduct

Core-deficient
40.6

Western Hemisphere 50.6

Caribbean 33.4

Training of Public Officials

Core-deficient
28.9

Western Hemisphere 36.8

Caribbean 27.4

Asset and Conflicts of Interests Declarations

Core-deficient
40.6

Western Hemisphere 42.3

Caribbean 27.9

Transparency in Government Contracting

Core-deficient
31.2

Western Hemisphere 33.1

Caribbean 22.9

Elimination of Favorable Tax Treatment

In progress
50.7

Western Hemisphere 47.1

Caribbean 31.6

Oversight Bodies

Core-deficient
31.2

Western Hemisphere 36.0

Caribbean 34.3

Measures to Deter Domestic and Foreign Bribery

In progress
50.7

Western Hemisphere 36.7

Caribbean 20.0

Encouraging Participation by Civil Society

In progress
50

Western Hemisphere 43.0

Caribbean 21.3

Study of Other Prevention Measures

In progress
64.0

Western Hemisphere 44.9

Caribbean 42.8

Criminalization and law enforcement

In progress
57.4

Western Hemisphere 61.1

Caribbean 55.1

Protection of Those who Report Acts of Corruption

Core-deficient
33.5

Western Hemisphere 30.7

Caribbean 17.8

Scope

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 67.7

Caribbean 53.8

Jurisdiction: Offense-in-Territory

Implemented
100

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

In progress
50.7

Western Hemisphere 55.8

Caribbean 55.8

Active Public Bribery

In progress
50.7

Western Hemisphere 56.4

Caribbean 55.5

Abuse of Functions

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 47.0

Caribbean 37.6

Money Laundering

In progress
57.8

Western Hemisphere 55.8

Caribbean 58.5

Participation and Attempt

In progress
47.6

Western Hemisphere 58.4

Caribbean 54.2

Active Foreign Bribery

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 39.0

Caribbean 34.7

Illicit Enrichment

Core-deficient
31.2

Western Hemisphere 54.7

Caribbean 38.9

Use of State Property

Implemented
100

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
100

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

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 71.4

Caribbean 61.1

Liability of Legal Persons

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 61.3

Caribbean 62.2

Statute of Limitations

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 79.6

Caribbean 68.

Prosecution, Adjudication and Sanctions

Implemented
81.2

Western Hemisphere 69.5

Caribbean 63.2

Consequences and Compensation

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 70.3

Caribbean 60.4

Cooperation With Law Enforcement

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 72.2

Caribbean 66.3

Asset Recovery

Implemented
82.8

Western Hemisphere 66.4

Caribbean 59.6

International cooperation

In progress
46.7

Western Hemisphere 68.9

Caribbean 60.9

Assistance Without Criminalization

Core-deficient
31.2

Western Hemisphere 79.8

Caribbean 69.8

Inclusion in Extradition Treaties

Core-deficient
35.9

Western Hemisphere 55.1

Caribbean 54.5

Convention as Legal Basis for Extradition

Core-deficient
21.8

Western Hemisphere 47.5

Caribbean 31.7

Automatic Application Without Treaty

Core-deficient
21.8

Western Hemisphere 52.7

Caribbean 49.1

Prosecution Without Extradition

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 57.2

Caribbean 56.6

Custody

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 73.4

Caribbean 72.8

Assistance

Core-deficient
21.8

Western Hemisphere 58.0

Caribbean 50.2

Impossibility of Claiming Bank Secrecy

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 84.0

Caribbean 71.3

Limited Use of Information

Implemented
82.8

Western Hemisphere 82.6

Caribbean 71.1

Nature of Act

Core-deficient
35.9

Western Hemisphere 84.3

Caribbean 75.7

Designate Central Authorities

In progress
50

Western Hemisphere 75.9

Caribbean 53.9

Responsibilities of Central Authorities

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 71.5

Caribbean 67.1

Communication Between Central Authorities

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 67.3

Caribbean 50.8

Special Investigative Techniques

In progress
68.7

Western Hemisphere 56.9

Caribbean 48.5

Technical Cooperation

Core-deficient
31.2

Western Hemisphere 62.8

Caribbean 40.7

Anti-corruption conventions timeline

1998199920002001200220032004200520062007200820092010201120122013201420152016201720182019202020212022

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

Trinidad and Tobago signed and ratified the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption (IACAC) on April 15, 1998. 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 11, 2003, and subsequently ratified it on May 31, 2006. Accordingly, Trinidad and Tobago have undergone five rounds of review under MESICIC, and one round of review under the UNCAC review mechanism.

Trinidad and Tobago’s record in implementing its commitments to IACAC and UNCAC exhibits a large number of failures and a modicum of successes, with almost half of all measures committed to found to be deficient at core or unimplemented. With an overall score of 51.1, the measures adopted place the country in the lower level of compliance with international norms, surrounded by Guyana (49.1), Grenada (50.8), El Salvador (51.5), and Dominican Republic (55.7). Despite the low level of implementation and enforcement, some degree of progress is found in all three sections (although leaning towards criminalization and law enforcement rather than prevention). Conversely, Trinidad and Tobago’s efforts may also be described as generally lacking across the range of measures required by the conventions.

The prevention of corruption is deficient but not totally lacking, classified as “core-deficient” by its average score and with over half of all measures within this section found deficient at core—the adoption of standards of conduct (28.9) and their enforcement (40.6), the training of public officials (28.9), transparency in government contracting (31.3), the state of oversight bodies (31.3), and the systems for registering asset and conflict of interests' declarations (40.6). The rest of the section remains in progress, with the study of preventive measures related to equitable compensation receiving the highest score among them—64.1.

In terms of criminalization and law enforcement, Trinidad and Tobago show better results than those regarding prevention—yet, significant deficiencies remain, with one third of all measures within this section classified as core-deficient or not implemented. The section shows stark contrasts in the level of implementation, as only four measures classified as “in progress”—the criminalization of extended forms of involvement in the commission of corruption offenses such as participation and attempt (47.7), active and passive bribery in the public sector (50.8), and money laundering (57.8)—and the rest being found either unimplemented/deficient or implemented. Among the measures found fully unimplemented, five are worth highlighting: the criminalization of the abuse of functions, active and passive bribery of foreign officials, illicit acquisition of a benefit (i.e., influence trading), and bribery in the private sector. Furthermore, the criminalization of illicit enrichment (31.3) and the protection of those who report acts of corruption (i.e., whistleblower protection) (33.6) are deficient at core. On the other hand, roughly half of all measures within this section are considered to be implemented, including those pertaining to embezzlement in the public and private sectors, the obstruction of justice, the liability of legal persons, and broader consequences—such as the rescinding of contracts and obtaining compensation—for the commitment of corrupt offenses, among others.

The country is found only partially compliant with its commitments to establish jurisdiction over the offenses covered by the conventions. The UNCAC review mechanism reports that “there is no jurisdiction over crimes committed abroad, even if the victim is a national of Trinidad and Tobago”, and “there is no jurisdiction for cases against foreign nationals who commit offenses in foreign jurisdictions and are thereafter found in Trinidad and Tobago and not extradited.” Trinidad and Tobago’s record in promoting and engaging with international cooperation is also lackluster, achieving an average section score lower than that for criminalization and law enforcement (discussed in the previous paragraph) but still receiving a classification of “in progress”. Measures related to extradition are severely deficient, not least due to the fact that “Trinidad and Tobago do not recognize UNCAC as a legal basis for extradition and does not proceed to extradition with a country with which there is no applicable treaty. It was reported that there are currently no treaties under negotiation.”

Corruption Resilience

Score by indicator

Social Context

Resilient
73.1

Western Hemisphere 64.8

Caribbean 69.3

Quality of Government

Moderately Resilient
57.1

Western Hemisphere 50.6

Caribbean 51.0

Rule of Law

Moderately Resilient
56.6

Western Hemisphere 51.1

Caribbean 57.1

Business Stability

Moderately Resilient
53.6

Western Hemisphere 50.5

Caribbean 52.3

Violence & Security

Moderately Resilient
61.8

Western Hemisphere 55.0

Caribbean 59.9

Corruption Resilience score over the time

Analysis

Trinidad and Tobago's social context indicator score for 2020 increased by 0.62 points from the previous year. The Western Hemisphere region indicator average was 64.89 for 2020, and Trinidad and Tobago's were above the average by 8.23 points. Since 2010 the country's score has been declining by approximately 1.5 and 2 points a year until 2020 when its score increased. Despite the decline of the country's score since 2010, it has consistently achieved a high score compared to its Western Hemisphere and particularly its subregion counterparts. Trinidad and Tobago achieved the highest score in 2010 with 78.99 and its lowest score in 2019 with 72.50. The country's social context indicator for 2020 is primarily attributed to guaranteed political rights and civil liberties are respected. Media outlets face no challenges, and freedom of expression is respected.

The country's quality of government score for 2020 increased by 8.87 points from the previous year. Throughout the decade, the country has obtained a score between 46.05 and 57.16, with a decade range between the highest and lowest score was 11.11 points. The Western Hemisphere country's indicator average was 50.63 for 2020, and Trinidad and Tobago's were above the average by 6.53 points. The country's indicator score is attributed to moderate control on corruption and adequate government and bureaucratic system.

Trinidad and Tobago's rule of law indicator increased in 2020 by a marginal 0.19 points from the previous year. Throughout the decade, the country's indicator score has varied, where its highest score achieved was in 2018 with 60.45, and its lowest indicator score was achieved in 2014 with 49.99. Trinidad and Tobago's indicator score was above the Western Hemisphere average for 2020 by 5.47 points. The country's indicator score is mainly because the judiciary system is independent; however, it's vulnerable to politicization and corruption. In addition, due process is guaranteed within the country's constitution, but at times, this is not respected.

The business stability indicator for Trinidad and Tobago increased in 2020 by 0.79 points from the previous year. The country's score is above the average for the Western Hemisphere of 50.53 for 2020 by 3.07 points. Since 2010 the country's indicator score has varied, where Trinidad and Tobago achieved its highest indicator score in 2018 with 54.29 and its lowest indicator score in 2014 with 49.99. Trinidad and Tobago's indicator score is attributed to weak regulations and widespread corruption that impact private sector businesses.

Trinidad and Tobago's violence and security indicator increased in 2020 by 5.67 points from the previous year. The country's indicator score is above the Western Hemisphere average of 55.04 by 6.84 points. Throughout the decade, the violence and security indicator score for Trinidad and Tobago has varied. It attained its highest indicator score in 2012 with 63.46 and its lowest indicator score in 2019 with 56.21. The country's score for 2020 is related to criminal-gang activity and drug trafficking.