SANTO DOMINIGO, Dominican Republic -- A commission of the Anti-Corruption Mechanism of the Organization of American States (OAS) held an “on-site” visit from October 8-10 to the Dominican Republic, as part of the analysis that the mechanism carries out in accordance with the methodology adopted by consensus among its member countries.
The Commission of the Mechanism for Follow-Up on the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (MESICIC) was made up of José Pedro Montero Trabel, president of the Transparency and Public Ethics Board of Uruguay; and Rigoberto Córdova Laitano, legal counsel to the Superior Court of Accounts of Honduras, who represent their respective countries before the Mechanism. They were supported by the OAS in the visit, through its Department of Legal Cooperation, in its capacity as the Technical Secretariat to the MESICIC.
During the visit, the Commission gathered information on the implementation in the Dominican Republic of the provision of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption regarding oversight bodies, specifically the Chamber of Accounts of the Dominican Republic (CCRD); the General Directorate of Government Ethics and Integrity (DIGEIG); the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic (CGR); the Supreme Court of Justice; and the Attorney’s Office on Prosecution of Administrative Corruption (PEPCA). It also obtained information on the implementation of the recommendations that were formulated by the MESICIC to the Dominican Republic in the first round, pertaining, among other issues, to the prevention of conflicts of interest, preservation of public resources, financial disclosure systems, and civil society participation.
During the three days of work, the members of the Commission met with, among others, the highest authorities of the oversight bodies mentioned above, as well as representatives of civil society organizations and professional associations, in order to gather full and objective information about these bodies and learn of any difficulties in implementing the recommendations of the First Round of Analysis of the MESICIC.
The results of this visit form part of the review process that is currently being carried out by the Committee of Experts of the MESICIC, and which will conclude with the adoption of the Dominican Republic country report by the Committee at its next plenary meeting to be held in March 2014, at OAS headquarters in Washington, DC.
The MESICIC is a cooperation mechanism between states, with the participation of civil society organizations, established within the framework of the OAS, in which the legal/institutional framework of each country is reviewed for suitability with the Inter-American Convention against Corruption as well as the objective results achieved therein. The incorporation of on-site visits in collaboration with the country visited are an integral stage and part of the MESICIC review process and represents an innovative and pioneering initiative in the context of the OAS, especially for a peer review mechanism and the importance of the issues it addresses.
To date, the following countries have agreed to receive visits from MESICIC: Brazil, El Salvador, Mexico, Bolivia, Paraguay, Peru, Costa Rica, Argentina, Trinidad and Tobago, Honduras, Panama, Chile, Uruguay, Colombia, Guatemala, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, Guyana and Canada.