The Bahamas became a member of CARICOM on 4th July 1983 though it has reserved its involvement in the CSME. For details on the economy, political structure and demographics see the World Fact Book - The Bahamas.
The award of Government contracts in Bahamas is governed by the Financial Administration and Audit Act of 1973 (Ch. 359) which falls under the purview of the Minister of Finance and is treated as a function ancillary to the administration, control and audit of public finances. In the 2009/10 Budget Communication, the Government of Bahamas tabled a Discussion Paper on strengthening accountability and transparency in public financial administration to serve as the basis for an extensive process of consultations with Members of Parliament, senior officials and the public. It is intended that, with the completion of the consultation process, a new and modern Financial Administration and Audit Act will be finalized and tabled in Parliament to take effect with the start of the next fiscal year. The proposed legislation will provide for the modernization of the procurement processes. Additionally, the Government in partnership with the IDB has launched an initiative to improve the public procurement process in The Bahamas. The intention is to strengthen regulations complementary to the Financial Administration and Audit Act to more clearly define procedures and provide guidance and direction for objective decision-making in the procurement process. Through this initiative, the Government will be striving to standardize and modernize procedures such that they will be consistent with best international practices bringing about greater fairness, accountability, efficiency, economy and transparency in how the government secures goods and services.
On 15th October 2008 the Bahamas signed the CARIFORUM EC - EPA which contains public procurement conditions for the first time in a multi-lateral trade agreement in the ACP. The conditions require transparency in all Government Procurement above a threshold of approximately 164,000 Euros.
The Bahamas has enacted the Prevention of Bribery Act No 9 of 1976, Proceeds of Crime Act 2000, Mutual Legal Assistance in (Criminal Matters) Act 1988. There is presently no access to information or integrity in public life legislation in the Bahamas.
The Bahamas has signed and ratified the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters and has accepted the UN Convention on Corruption.
Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2009 Ranking measures the perceived level of public-sector corruption in 180 countries and territories around the world. The CPI is a "survey of surveys", based on 13 different expert and business surveys. The Bahamas was not ranked in the CPI 2009.