A column written yesterday, totally irrelevant today, since there is no integrity here

Integrity and corruption, two ends of one spectrum

This week the Central Bank circulated a report, Corruption Survey 2019.

The CBA held a corruption survey during November & December 2019, among local residents age 18 and up. The data was collected in face-to-face interviews with individuals at their homes, in the language of their choice.

A total of 820 individuals were surveyed, 388 males and 436 females.

The findings were interesting, taken directly from the report:

A great majority of respondents mentioned that corruption was widespread and increasing.

Politicians were perceived to be the most corrupt group in society.

Almost half of respondents thought that the government was doing badly in fighting corruption.

The bribery rate was low compared to selected Latin American and Caribbean countries.

Somewhat less than one fifth of respondents mentioned that they knew someone who has paid a bribe.

A large majority concurred that ordinary people could make a difference in the fight again corruption.

The main reason for not reporting corruption is the people were afraid of the consequences.

A great majority perceived that the introduction of the code of conduct for ministers and parliament members was necessary.

The MinPres in a recent presentation praised the report and its findings and pledged to actively remedy the faulty, exposed Achilles heels of our system. She praised CBA for conducting the survey the third year in a row, and talked about progress made since the first survey in 2017. She stated she was going to restore confidence in the system, lauded improvements, and promised to support investigations, in spite of the current nervousness about the subject. 

We as a public, should be talking about that wide space between integrity and corruption, we should talk about it every day, because experience taught us that just one drop of pee contaminates the whole water glass!

According to MinPres, Aruba has been moving assertively in the direction of good governance and she listed a few upcoming projects to support that:

The Bureau of Integrity: A chief will be named in September.

A committee for Corporate Governance, they will be looking at systems and procedures, soon.

Ombudsman, the defender of the people is coming, soon.

A law for political party financing, soon. See more below.

NIS, National Integrity Scan, a service to be available, soon.

All these ideas are great, but they are taking too long; soon is a very loose definition of time.

The topic receiving most of the MinPres attention was PPF, the upcoming Political Party Funding legislation, regulating the method by which political parties raise money for campaigns and activities, and what kind of contributions they are allowed to receive, noting that her own party will continue to rely on BBQs, raffles and car washes, as its main fund-raising method.

She condemned the opposition party, namely the former MinPres for accepting $50,000 from a crook, Roberto Rincon, for the 2017 election campaign. Rincon was arrested for money laundering in association with Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA). He was trying to make friends in high places in Aruba. For obvious reason. We have a defunct refinery and he saw an opportunity. Rincon was rewarded for his generosity with terrain and who knows what else. So those PPF rules will come in handy.

I believe the donation ceiling will be set at Awg 3,000 and it has to be above board, registered and acknowledged publicly. Amen.

 

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September 05, 2020
Rona Coster