Last update: 28-Jul-2014 10:22 am
Monday, July 28, 2014
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Why energy-dependent economies need Transparency
Transparency is important in all economies more so in energy-dependent ones, said Dr Roger Hosein, economics lecturer at the University of the West Indies (UWI).
“Transparency is a conduit through which many of the ills in a society can be addressed and has been referred to as the Swiss army knife of policy. Transparency can enhance levels of trust in society, strengthen institutions in the community, enhance the legitimacy of the entire economic regime, enhance the efficiency of the political regime, ensure that public and private officials demonstrate a greater element of accountability,” he said two Thursdays ago at a two-day Revenue Reporting Conference held by UWI Economics Department at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Port-of-Spain.
Hosein said when an economy has a low degree of transparency, corruption appears more lucrative.
“The greater the degree of transparency in the cost structures of energy companies, the greater the difficulty for the corrupt bureaucrat to benefit from information asymmetry, meaning not everyone has equal access to information. High levels of transparency acts as a medium which exerts pressure on bureaucrats to be precise and truthful in reports and the real accounts must match the audited accounts.”