The Central Bank of Aruba took it upon itself to conduct a survey regarding corruption on the island. So first I had to get the definition:
Corruption is the political, social or economic phenomenon in which someone in a (public) position of power grants unauthorized favors exchange for return services or as a friend’s service.
When you read the definition you immediately agree that yes, corruption is visible everywhere, only here we call it nepotism, friend and family, and it is perceived as Corruption Light, as a way of doing business.
The CBA document explores the state of corruption in Aruba from residents’ view, from their perception. And you know perceptions are always biased.
Nevertheless, the CBS also asked about experiences with bribery, on the level of Grand Corruption. Then interviewed people speaking out against the phenomenon, with conclusion at the end, a total of 11 interesting page.
I am quoting: Curbing corruption in Aruba is a high priority for the Centrale Bank van Aruba (CBA), because corruption has far reaching negative economic and social repercussions that could hinder the CBA from fulfilling its mission.
How good of them.
On page 2 we find out that 76% of those asked thought corruption in Aruba is widespread, and 52% of those asked thought the level of corruption here has increase.
Almost eight out of ten persons agreed that there was corruption in public institutions in Aruba, 79%.
56% thought the parliamentary system CONTRIBUTES to corruption and 80% thought too close links between business and politics, lead to corruption. Right.
The most interesting and valid remark: A majority (60 percent) said that corruption was part of the business culture in Aruba. Somewhat over half of those surveyed (55 percent) thought that the only way to succeed in business was to have political connections. Nonetheless, 74 percent said that favoritism and corruption hamper business competition.
And here comes the saddest part: In a chart listing all institutions in Aruba, such as Utilities, Dimas, Serlimar etc. the perception was that POLITICIANS as the MOST corrupt followed by Lotto pa Deporte and the Ministers and their advisers.
And here comes the funniest part: The LEAST corrupt was the Central Bank.
I had to laugh.
You write a report and give yourself the best grades?!
To make yourself look good?
Did you just interview your employees?
Then I asked some friends with excellent recall and those confirmed the CBA also has skeletons in the closet, from the sale of the Aruba Bank, to Interbank, FCCA, the recent Setar cellular phone scandal involving a central bank employee.
Anyway, BEST PART, the rate of Grand Corruption is low.
According to the survey results, the bribery rate in Aruba was low. A small percentage of respondents (3 percent) who had accessed at least one institution for services noted that they had paid a bribe.
About one in four respondents KNEW someone who had paid a bribe when accessing basic services that should be free, mostly around permits.