The Follow-up Mechanism for the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption, known as MESICIC for its Spanish acronym, is a tool to support the development of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (IACAC) through cooperation between states parties.
MESICIC has the following objectives:
The Inter-American Convention against Corruption was adopted March 29, 1996 during a Special Inter-American Conference in Caracas, Venezuela. The Convention, which was the first international legal instrument to address this issue, specifically includes in its underlying principle the recognition of the international importance of corruption and the need for an instrument to promote and facilitate inter-country cooperation to combat it. Consequently, it set forth two goals:
The Convention identifies acts of corruption to which it applies and creates binding obligations under international law. It provides for institutional development, requirements for the criminalization of specified acts of corruption, and contains provisions regarding extradition, seizure of assets, mutual legal assistance, and technical assistance where acts of corruption occur or have effect in one of the states parties. It also highlights the importance of preventative measures.
In 1996, the OAS member states adopted the Inter-American Convention against Corruption. Aware that the Convention constituted a first step in collectively combating the problem of corruption, and that it would require subsequent complementary developments to increase its effectiveness, the states parties to the Convention created a follow-up mechanism for its implementation. On June 4, 2001, the OAS General Assembly, held in San Jose, Costa Rica, adopted the Follow-up Mechanism for the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (MESICIC). MESICIC came into effect in January 2002, and is governed according to the terms of the “Report of Buenos Aires on the Mechanism for Follow-Up on Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption.”
The MESICIC consists of two bodies: the Conference of States Parties, composed of representatives of all of the states, which has the authority and responsibility of supervising implementation of the Mechanism (the political body); and the Committee of Experts, composed of experts designated by each state party, which is responsible for the technical review of the implementation of the Convention by the states parties (technical body). The General Secretariat of the OAS acts as Technical Secretariat of the Mechanism.
The MESICIC operates within the framework of the purposes and principles established by the Charter of the OAS. It thus takes into account the principles of sovereignty, nonintervention, and the juridical equality of the states.
The MESICIC is impartial and objective in its operations and decisions. It does not employ the use of sanctions. Its purpose is neither to grade nor classify the states, but rather to strengthen the cooperation between the states in the fight against the common enemy of corruption.
The MESICIC also works to establish an appropriate equilibrium between confidentiality and transparency of its activities. Furthermore, although it is an intergovernmental mechanism, it is designed to incorporate the opinions of civil society.
The MESICIC Committee of Experts carries out, among other activities, a process of reciprocal or mutual evaluation between the states parties to the Mechanism. The process is carried out through a series of successive “rounds” in which the manner in which the states are implementing the provisions of the Convention selected for each round is analyzed. According to rules of procedure, methodology, questionnaire and a uniform structure, the Committee adopts national reports in which specific recommendations are formulated for each state in relation to the areas that require more progress for a more effective implementation of the provisions.
Civil society organizations participate in this process, providing information similar to that submitted by each state; thus they can submit documents regarding the implementation of the provisions of the Convention and make presentations during the Committee of Experts’ meetings, according to the Committee’s Rules and Procedures.
During its meetings, the Committee of Experts also discusses important topics considered to be of collective interest in the fight against corruption, such as procurement and technical cooperation programs.
The first round of review concluded in March 2006. The implementation of the provisions of the Convention analyzed in that round refer to conflict of interest; conservation of public resources and the obligation of public officials to report acts of corruption; registering income, assets and liabilities; oversight bodies; access to information and other civil society participation mechanisms in the prevention of corruption; mutual legal assistance and mutual technical cooperation; and identification of central authorities.
In the second round of review, the following provisions of the Convention are being analyzed: systems of government hiring and procurement of goods and services (Article III (5)); systems for protecting public servants and private citizens who, in good faith, report acts of corruption (Article III (8)); and, classification of acts of corruption (Article VI). Implementation of the recommendations formulated by the Committee during the first round will also be reviewed.
In accordance with the adopted methodology, in relation with each state and with respect to each provision of the Convention under review, recommendations will be formulated based on the analysis of the existence of a legal framework, the adequacy of the legal framework, and the results of the legal framework.
The MESICIC web page can be found at:
The following information can be found on this page: