Belize became a member of CARICOM on 1st May 1974. For details on the economy, political structure and demographics see the World Fact Book - Belize.
Belize is one of three CARICOM member states to undertake substantial public sector procurement reform. Jamaica and Guyana are the other two member states. Belize's public procurement is governed by the Contractor-General Act, - No. 6 of 1993 which received the Governor-General’s Assent on January 05, 1994. The Act provided for the establishment of the Office of the Contractor- General. The functions of the office are: to monitor the award and implementation of public contracts for the purpose of ensuring that such contracts are awarded impartially and on merit, to investigate complaints of impropriety or irregularity involving contracts and to provide for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. The act came into force on March 31, 1999. The first Contractor-General took the oath of allegiance and office, prescribed under Section 33, before the Governor-General on July 08, 1999. Under the Act, the Contractor-General is required to prepare and submit annual reports to the National Assembly. To date, five such Annual Reports have been prepared and have been laid on the tables of the House of Representatives and the Senate. There is also the Finance and Audit Act 2000. Additionally, Section 18 of the Finance and Audit (Reform) Act, 2005, requires the Contractor-General to review and give written comments before Government disposes of Public Assets with an aggregate value of or above two million dollars. The Finance and Audit (Reform) Act came into force on April 18, 2005.
On 15th October 2008 Belize 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.
Belize has enacted the Prevention of Corruption in Public Life Act 1994 and the Money Laundering Prevention Act 1996. There is also provision for public access to information through the Freedom of Information Act 1994.
Belize has not signed and ratified the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, the UN Convention on Corruption or the CARICOM Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty on Serious Criminal Matters.
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. Belize was not ranked in the CPI 2009.