KINGSTON, Jamaica -- A Commission of the Anti-Corruption Mechanism of the Organization of American States (OAS) held an “on-site” visit to Jamaica from April 1-3, 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 representatives from El Salvador, Alvaro Magaña Granados, from the executive secretary of the National Council for Sustainable Development; and Miguel Arturo Giron, member of the Inter-Institutional Working Group for Follow-Up on International Anti-Corruption Conventions; as well as Robert Branch, senior legal counsel of the Attorney General’s Chambers of the Ministry of Legal Affairs of Grenada. They were supported by the OAS during the visit through its Department of Legal Cooperation, in its capacity as the Technical Secretariat to the MESICIC.
During the three day visit, members of the Commission met with representatives of the Office of the Contractor General, the Integrity Commission, the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption and the Office of the Auditor General of Jamaica, in order to obtain objective and complete information and reveal potential difficulties in the implementation of the Inter-American Convention in the Caribbean nation.
The Commission also held meetings with representatives from the Attorney General’s Chambers of Jamaica, the Public Service Commission and the Access to Information Unit in order to obtain information on the implementation of the recommendations that were formulated by the MESICIC to Jamaica in the First Round, pertaining, among other issues, to the prevention of conflicts of interest and post-employment restrictions; systems for registering income, assets and liabilities of public servants; and the legal regime for access to information.
The representatives of El Salvador and Grenada also met with Jamaican civil society and private sector organizations in order to obtain their perspectives on progress made in the fight against corruption.
The results of this visit are part of the review process for the Fourth Round that is currently being carried out by the Committee of Experts of the MESICIC, which will conclude with the adoption of the Jamaica country report by the Committee at its next plenary meeting to be held in September 2014, in Washington DC at OAS headquarters.
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.