GEORGETOWN, Guyana -- A commission of the Anti-Corruption Mechanism of the Organization of American States (OAS) held an “on-site” visit from October 8-10 to Guyana, 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 the director general of the Unit for Combating Corruption (ULCC) of Haiti, Colonel Antoine Atouriste; the director of operations of the ULCC, Joseph Jean Figaro; and the head of the legal department of the ULCC, Yvlore Pigeot; as well as the legal advisor to the attorney general of Trinidad and Tobago, Joan Ramnarine-Furlonge. 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 three days of work, the commission met with the top authorities and other representatives of the Audit Office, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Public Service Commission, the Judicial Service Commission, the Integrity Commission, the Office of the Commissioner on Information and the National Procurement and Tender Administration, among others, in order to obtain objective and complete information and reveal potential difficulties in the implementation of the Inter-American Convention. It also provided an opportunity to facilitate the obtaining of information related to best practices, and provided Guyana the opportunity to benefit from or to request technical assistance.
The commission also had the opportunity to meet with organizations from civil society and the private sector and professional associations, in order to address issues related to the challenges facing the investigation, prosecution, and punishment of acts of corruption in Guyana; civil society’s views on the role of oversight bodies in Guyana; conflicts of interest; systems for registering income, assets and liabilities; access to public information; and mechanisms to encourage participation of civil society in efforts to prevent corruption.
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 Guyana 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 as a stage and integral part of the MESICIC review process 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.