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On September 14, 2012, during its Twentieth Meeting held at OAS headquarters, the Committee of Experts of the Mechanism for Follow-Up to the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (MESICIC) adopted a Report on the Implementation in Paraguay of various provisions of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption. This is the fourth such report that has been issued by the MESICIC in relation to Paraguay’s implementation of this Convention.
During this Fourth Round, the Committee reviewed the operation and objective results of the main oversight bodies in Paraguay with responsibility for the prevention, detection, punishment and eradication of acts of corruption: the Public Prosecution Service (Ministerio Público - MP), Office of the Comptroller General (Contraloría General de la República - CGR), Office of the Auditor General of the Executive Branch (Auditoría General del Poder Ejecutivo - AGPE), Supreme Court of Justice, and Civil Service Secretariat (Secretaría de la Función Pública - SFP).
The review was carried out taking into account Paraguay’s response to a questionnaire, information provided by civil society organizations, information gathered by the Technical Secretariat, and, as a new and important source of information, the on-site visit conducted between April 16 and el 19, 2012, by the Technical Secretariat and by members of the review subgroup for Paraguay, comprising of Nicaragua and Belize. During that visit, the information provided by Paraguay was clarified and expanded and the opinions of civil society organizations, professional associations, academics, and researchers on issues of relevance to the review were heard.
Some of the recommendations formulated to the Republic of Paraguay’s consideration in connection with the aforementioned oversight bodies, address purposes such as the following:
With respect to the Public Prosecution Service, recommendations included the strengthening of inter-agency coordination, introduction of regulations on merit-based competitions for entry to service in the institution, implementation of the administrative and prosecutorial career systems, and establishment of and training for a police unit specializing in corruption crimes to act in coordination with the Public Prosecution Service in investigating such crimes.
Regarding the Office of the Comptroller General, recommendations were made regarding the implementation of mandatory merit-based competitions and a career system, strengthening the administrative disciplinary system, strengthening interagency coordination, and resolution of conflicts of jurisdiction with other entities.
Recommendations to the Office of the Auditor General of the Executive Branch included the strengthening of the autonomy of institutional internal auditors, statutory amendments to ensure that internal auditors’ reports that disclose evidence of wrongdoing are sent simultaneously to the Public Prosecution Service and to the President of the Republic, and strengthening the new Forensic Audit Department.
In relation to the Civil Service Secretariat, the development and implementation of codes of ethics, strengthening the administrative disciplinary system, introduction of regulations for and implementation of merit-based competitions in all the institutions under its authority, institutional strengthening through provision of human and budgetary resources were recommended.
In connection with the Supreme Court, recommendations included the strengthening of its jurisdictional function, the resolution of conflicts of jurisdiction of the Court of Auditors with other entities, the implementation of the judicial and technical-administrative career systems, adoption of measures to solve the problem of the judicial delay; and settlement of the constitutionality issues in relation to the Civil Service law and the Judicial Impeachment Board Law.
In addition, Paraguay provided information on best practices in the country, such as the process of interagency cooperation involving several agencies; programs of participation of civil society carried out with international cooperation; and the cooperation agreements between the Civil Service Secretariat and various government agencies and entities, including those that have filed suits challenging the constitutionality of the Civil Service Law.
Finally, some of the recommendations made to Paraguay in the First Round that remain outstanding or were reformulated address purposes such as the adoption of legal standards to support access to public information, adoption of legal standards to encourage the participation of civil society and nongovernmental organizations in anti-corruption efforts, and recommendations regarding financial disclosures and conflict of interest.During this Twentieth Meeting, similar reports were adopted for Bolivia, Brazil, El Salvador and Mexico. The Paraguay report adopted by the Committee, as well as the aforementioned countries, are available at: http://www.oas.org/juridico/english/mesicic4_rep.htm
Edition N° 100 - Sept. 2012
The Mechanism For Follow-up on 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 through
cooperation between States Parties.
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