OAS team begins corruption convention check

A Commission from the OAS Mechanism for Follow-Up on the Implementation of the Inter- American Convention against Corruption (MESICIC) met with representatives of local oversight and civil society bodies yesterday.

This visit, for which the Government of Guyana gave permission, is a part of the review process that the Mechanism is carrying out. The meetings were held at Cara Lodge yesterday and an official of the delegation declined comment on proceedings yesterday when approached by Stabroek News.

The Commission is made up of representatives from Haiti and Trinidad and Tobago, as well as from the Department of Legal Cooperation of the Secretariat for Legal Affairs of the OAS, in its capacity as the Technical Secretariat of the MESICIC.

The purpose of the meetings is to review the manner in which the Inter- American Convention against Corruption is being implemented in Guyana “and to provide first hand, objective and complete information for consideration of its national report, which will be adopted by the Committee of Experts of the MESICIC in a plenary meeting in March 2014.”

Yesterday morning, sources say the team met with representatives of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana, the Guyana Association of Women Lawyers, the Guyana Bar Association, the Consultative Association of Guyanese Industry and Transparency Institute of Guyana Inc.

The commission was also scheduled to have discussions with the Judicial Service Commission, the Public Service Commission, the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board and the Commissioner of Information among others. The OAS team will be here up to tomorrow.

An OAS statement in August on the visit  had said “It will also provide an opportunity to address the implementation of the recommendations formulated in the First Round, in areas such as conflicts of interest, the reporting of acts of corruption, and systems for registering income, assets and liabilities”.

It noted that to date, the countries that have received on-site visits are Brazil, El Salvador, Mexico, Bolivia, Paraguay, Peru, Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago, Honduras, Panama, Chile, Uruguay, Colombia and Guatemala.

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 against the Inter-American Convention against Corruption.

At yesterday’s civil society encounter matters related to the Integrity Commission, the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament and the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board among others were raised.

Government Advisor Gail Teixeira, who also sits on the MESICIC review panel was in attendance at yesterday’s meetings.


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