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On March 22, 2012, during its Twenty-First 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 Honduras of various provisions of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption. This is the third such report that has been issued by the MESICIC in relation to Honduras’ implementation of this Convention.
During this Fourth Round, the Committee reviewed the operation and objective results of the main oversight bodies in Honduras with responsibility for the prevention, detection, punishment and eradication of acts of corruption: the Superior Court of Accounts (TSC), the Public Prosecution Service (MP), the office of the Attorney General of the Republic (PGR), the Judicial Branch (PJ), and the National Banking and Insurance Commission (CNBS), as well as the follow-up on the implementation of the recommendations formulated to Honduras in the First Round of Review.
The review was carried out taking into account Honduras’ 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 October 2 and 4, 2012, by the Technical Secretariat and by members of the review subgroup for Honduras, comprising of Paraguay and Nicaragua. During that visit, the information provided by Honduras 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 Honduras’ consideration in connection with the aforementioned oversight bodies, address purposes such as the following:
For the TSC, strengthened institutional coordination, recognition of electronic signatures on sworn statements, and strengthening the institution by providing it with the human and budgetary resources to ensure full compliance with its tasks of preventing, detecting, and investigating acts of corruption.
For the MP, strengthened institutional coordination, the creation and training of a unit of police officers specialized in corruption offenses to act in coordination with the MP in investigating those offenses, protection for prosecutors in discharging their corruption investigation and prosecution duties, and expediting the processing of cases.
For the PGR, implementation of obligatory merit-based competitions and of a career service, strengthened interinstitutional coordination, a strategic planning process, and the resolution of conflicts of jurisdiction with other agencies.
For the Judicial Branch (PJ), the creation of specialized courts for corruption cases, training judges in the appraisal of evidence in corruption cases, strengthened interinstitutional coordination, and unified criteria at courts for appraising the TSC’s auditing reports as evidence in corruption cases.
For the CNBS, the development of a mechanism to follow up on criminal proceedings based on the information the agency submits to the judicial system, the creation of a standardized form for the financial information that banking institutions are required to submit, and strengthened inter-institutional coordination.
The good practices regarding which Honduras furnished information involve, in summary, the preparation of a strategy to connect the public more closely with the specific oversight work of the Superior Court of Accounts by means of two mechanisms: first, by receiving, evaluating, and processing citizens’ complaints, and, second, through the participation of citizens and civil society organizations in auditing processes.
Finally, some of the recommendations extended to Honduras in the First Round that remain in force or that were reformulated deal with such topics as strengthening the Public Information Access Institute (IAIP) continued application of measures for the establishment of appropriate restrictions for those who leave public service or have concluded a consultancy contract with a public agency, such as a ban on involvement in cases in which they played a part on account of that position or with agencies with which they had recent ties, the creation of mechanisms to punish violators, and the establishment of mechanisms to select the personnel of internal auditing units.
During this Twenty-First Meeting, similar reports were adopted for Argentina, Costa Rica, Peru and Trinidad and Tobago. The Honduras report adopted by the Committee, as well as the aforementioned countries, are available at: http://www.oas.org/juridico/english/mesicic4_rep.htm
124 - March 2013
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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