Parliamentary Oversight and Corruption in the Caribbean: Trinidad and Tobago and Grenada Compared
The research results presented here cast doubt on previous research, which clearly indicated that contextual factors determined differences in parliamentary oversight (and hence corruption). Our results are rather inconclusive: on the basis of country size, population and economy, Grenada might be expected to have lower corruption, while on the basis of government and opposition parties, Trinidad & Tobago should have lower corruption; the other factors are indeterminate. Our results also cast doubt that the establishment or adoption of oversight tools is a determinant of corruption—both countries have a similar range of internal parliamentary oversight tools, namely, Public Accounts and other oversight committees, question time, and votes of no confidence—although, neither country’s parliament plays a role in Cabinet formation or dismissal. Both have a similar array of extra-parliamentary institutions, namely an Auditor, a number of anti-corruption agencies and Ombudsman. Furthermore, the evidence indicates that the key internal and external oversight tools and institutions are somewhat more effective—although still not particularly effective—in Trinidad & Tobago than in Grenada, with the exception of the anti-corruption agencies, which are considered somewhat more effective in Grenada. The evidence also indicates that facilitating factors are stronger in Trinidad & Tobago. Are these results peculiar to Trinidad & Tobago and Grenada, or are they generalizable to other small states, especially those in the Caribbean? Clearly, further research is needed.
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