Transparency International’s Curaçao study highlights weaknesses in the public sector, political parties and media

All sectors of society must increase levels of transparency to strengthen people’s trust in institutions and public officials

Issued by Transparency International Secretariat



Translations: NL


There is a general lack of trust in Curaçao’s key institutions, the anti-corruption group Transparency International said in a report published today. This is a major obstacle for strengthening the foundations of this new country and will limit the success of any programme addressing corruption and promoting good governance.

Curaçao’s National Integrity System assessment -- a study of the island’s most important institutions for fighting corruption, promoting transparency, increasing accountability and good governance -- was undertaken over the past year and found the public sector, political parties and the media were the weakest links in the island’s ability to combat corruption.

To increase the level of trust it is necessary to ensure proper procedures and instil integrity into the country’s institutions. This means guaranteeing adequate accountability provisions that include whistleblower protection mechanisms, and by enhancing transparency across all sectors of society.

“Corruption is not an isolated phenomenon and fighting it requires all institutions, sectors and people working together to stand up and put an end to impunity for corruption. Effective prevention of corruption is the responsibility not just of leaders but of all citizens of Curaçao”, says Alejandro Salas, Transparency International’s Regional Director for the Americas. “People need to know their rights and hold their elected politicians accountable.”

The National Integrity System assessment reveals that political parties in Curaçao do not function well in all aspects. There is a potential risk of dominance of party discipline over governance both among members of Parliament as well with the Executive. This can hinder the independence of both institutions and, worryingly, blurs the separation of power as laid out in the Constitution. In addition, the legislature does not make full use of the oversight instruments at its disposal to hold the Executive to account.

In contrast to political parties, the judiciary, the Ombudsman and the supreme audit and supervisory institutions score relatively well in the Curaçao National Integrity System assessment. The research shows that they are largely independent and considered adequately resourced. Thus, they have the potential to create an effective system of checks-and-balances over the public, private and social sectors of the country and serve as a key defence against those that repeatedly get away with acts of corruption. However, this potential is undermined by weaknesses identified in other sectors and areas.

The study illustrates broad concerns about some sectors that should promote integrity. An example of this is the media. While the legal framework provides an environment which is conducive to the development of a diverse media landscape, the reality is that there are not enough trained journalists, especially investigative journalists. The content of media reports is at times influenced by the fact that many media companies are heavily dependent on private financiers and the advertising market for their income. Requirements to ensure the integrity of media employees are scarce. This undermines the independence and the accountability of the media.

Transparency International’s Curaçao National Integrity System assessment clearly shows that although the legislative framework is fairly strong on the island, there are some considerable gaps between law and practice in many areas, such as the Parliament and the Executive. In numerous cases, existing legislation is not applied consistently in practice, and those who are responsible for the execution of the laws, or are required to comply with them, do not always know how to do so. This is particularly true with regards to transparency, where much of the information which is legally required to be made public, such as implementation reports, personnel decisions, and other administrative decisions, are not consistently or systematically published.

Based on the findings of the Curaçao National Integrity System assessment, Transparency International recommends the following:

Note to editors 

To download the Curaçao National Integrity System assessment, please click here. For background information on the study, please visit Transparency International’s website here. For further details on National Integrity System assessments in general and the methodology as well as to see examples of previous country reports, please click here.


For any press enquiries please contact

Natalie Baharav
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
+5999 5172041 (Wilemstad)
+49 30 343820 666 (Berlin)

Latest

Support Transparency International

15 ways young people can fight corruption

On International Youth Day, we celebrate youth around the globe and their power to help shape a fairer and more just world. For those who want to join us but don’t know where to start, here are 15 great ideas from our anti-corruption tool kit.

Azerbaijan: closing down civil society

Transparency Azerbaijan has announced that it had to close its two regional legal advice centres due to a restrictive government law blocking foreign donors from giving to civil society.

Six ways business can help deliver the Sustainable Development Goals

Our former chair outlines six ways in which businesses can help reach the SDGs.

No sustainable development without tackling corruption: the importance of tracking SDG 16

12 Transparency International Chapters are at the UN in New York City to share their findings measuring national progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 16, “Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions”.

On trial for corruption: French prosecutors demand jail term and €30 million fine for Obiang

The corruption trial of Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, the son of the president of Equatorial Guinea, ended in Paris on 6 July with the prosecution calling for a three-year jail term, a €30 million fine and the confiscation of assets. The Tribunal will return a verdict on 27 October.

On trial for corruption: Teodoro Obiang, son of the president of Equatorial Guinea

In the first case brought by civil society in France, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, the son of the president of Equatorial Guinea, is on trial for corruption.

Corruption Reporting Award: Honouring investigative journalism

For the third year Transparency International has sponsored the Corruption Reporting Award as part of the One World Media Awards. Check out this year's winner, Stealing Paradise, a shocking investigation into corruption, intimidation and the sale of idyllic islands in the Maldives.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media

Would you like to know more?

Sign up to stay informed about corruption news and our work around the world