Transparency International said Thursday that Seychelles has earned the highest mark in the sub-Saharan region in its Corruption Perception Index survey of 2019.
The 115-island nation in the western Indian Ocean is ranked 27th on the new Index with a score of 66 points out of 100, the same as in the 2018 Index when it was ranked 28.
The index, released by Berlin-based Transparency International, measures perception of corruption in the public sector using a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean.
According to the Index, while Seychelles struggles with issues of money laundering, which is not measured by the CPI, several anti-corruption laws have helped strengthen the country's anti-corruption framework.
These include recent access to information law, a newly established anti-corruption commission and in addition "despite some restrictions, dialogue between civil society and government occurs through a national civil society platform."
Despite the results, the Transparency Initiative Seychelles (TIS) -- a not-for-profit organisation -- said it is concerned that the island nation has received the same score as last year.
"The 2018 score was the biggest improvement in the country's score over the past decade, from 60, in 2017 to 66 in 2018. The findings of the 2019 survey show that we have not improved on the score," said Transparency Initiative Seychelles in a communiqué.
"The stagnant score of 66 indicates that we have a lot of work to do to ensure that the commitment goes beyond signatures on conventions and written mandates and impactful improvement in combatting corruption in its entirety," added the organisation.
Transparency Initiative Seychelles said that while it notes and applauds the setting up of the Information Commission to implement the Access to Information Act and the commitment in pushing forward the Open Government Partnership (OGP) agenda, "we also note that there is a gap in the framework of efficient implementation of similar institutions and initiatives."
"Whether it is a question of capacity or political will - one which remains to be answered, we strongly stand against an environment which nurtures and enables corruption, and those who thrive because of it, to carry on business as usual," added the Transparency Initiative Seychelles.
The scores of Seychelles have been measured using data from four separate sources of information -- World Economic Forum, Global Insight Country Risk Rating, Varieties of Democracy (VDEM) Project and the Economist Intelligence Unit Country Risk Rating.
The index ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, according to experts and business people. More than two-thirds of countries score below 50 on this year's CPI, with an average score of 43. Similar to previous years, the data shows that despite some progress, a majority of countries are still failing to tackle public sector corruption effectively.
At the top of the Index is Denmark with a score of 87 out of 100 followed by New Zealand. At the bottom is Somalia with a score of 9 out of 100.