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Within the Framework of the Fourth Round, the Committee of Experts of the MESICIC, during its Twenty-Third Meeting, held from March 18 to 21, 2014, adopted the report on Dominican Republic by consensus, following a careful examination of the information provided by that country, as well as that gathered during an on-site visit carried out from October 8 to 10, 2013, by a review subgroup composed of Honduras and Uruguay, with the support of the General Secretariat of the OAS. At that on-site visit, meetings were held with Dominican Republic authorities as well as with representatives of civil society organizations and professional associations. The following aspects of the report should be highlighted:

First, recommendations were formulated to Dominican Republic for its consideration, with respect to the oversight bodies selected by Dominican Republic to be examined in the Fourth Round, among others, as follows:
With respect to the Bureau of Governmental Integrity and Ethics (DIGEIG), consider giving its creation the rank of law approved by Congress; adopt its operating regulations, procedures manuals for its main areas, and mechanisms for institutional coordination with certain entities; provide it with the staff that it needs to perform its functions, as well as sufficient funds to provide them with specialized training; ensure that public-sector institutions act in a timely manner to supply it with the information and documents that it needs to proceed with investigations in its area of responsibility; adopt follow-up mechanisms that enable it to know the outcome of the penalties that it recommends and of the complaints of acts of corruption that it refers to the appropriate authorities; and keep statistics on the foregoing in order to identify challenges and recommend corrective measures.

Regarding the Office of the Special Attorney to Prosecute Corruption in Public Administration (PEPCA), formalize the adoption of its Internal Regulations on Investigation Policy and Procedures; update its Organization and Functions Manual; define the significance criteria by which to stipulate guidelines for selecting cases that will be handled directly by the Office of its Director; take the appropriate steps to ensure the technical, administrative, and functional independence of the PEPCA and of its prosecutors; adopt a more expedite procedure for recovering assets associated with acts of corruption; select its technical and administrative staff based on a system of merit; provide it with sufficient prosecutors and investigators; strengthen training mechanisms for its specialized staff; and examine the causes that might have contributed to acts of corruption being declared time-barred for legal action, with a view to identifying challenges and recommending corrective measures.

Concerning the Judicial Branch (PJ), adopt the necessary measures to allocate the judiciary the appropriate budget in accordance with the law; put into operation the criminal courts that have been created by the law but are not yet operational; ensure implementation of the “Hearings Audio Capture” modernization project and the line of action on “systematization, creation, and dissemination of jurisprudence and judicial documents” envisaged in the Strategic Plan 2009-2013, in the country’s criminal justice system, particularly where corruption is concerned; ensure the territorial expansion of the criminal court office management model (MGDP); impart to criminal court judges specific training in trying acts of corruption recognized in the Criminal Code; and prepare statistics on corruption cases before different courts in the judiciary, in order to identify challenges and recommend corrective measures.

In relation to the Court of Accounts of the Dominican Republic (CCRD), adopt a more expedite procedure for recovering, through civil proceedings, assets linked to declarations of civil liability; adopt appropriate measures to enable the CCRD to conduct effective oversight in municipalities; ensure that the Dominican Municipal League provides the CCRD with appropriate cooperation; ensure execution of the objectives contained in the Strategic Plan for Institutional Development and Sustainability 2010-2016 (PEDSI) on which progress is low; take the appropriate steps so that the CCRD can effectively exercise its budgetary autonomy and can request international organizations to provide it with the economic and technical assistance necessary to provide its personnel with specialized training and to ensure it the logistical support and information technology equipment that it requires; update its Human Resources Regulations; and adopt a monitoring system that would enable it to know how the competent authorities process cases in which it has declared administrative and civil liability, in order to identify challenges and recommend corrective measures.

As regards the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic (CGR), consider reforming the law that created the National Internal Control System and the CGR, in order to make it consistent with the new constitutional provisions in that regard; adopt the Rules of Procedure on Public Servant Liability envisaged in that law; draft a plan of action on “Implementation of a System of Societal Comptrollership”; provide it with the necessary resources to adapt its technology platform to the needs of its operational structure and to implement its Information Technology Strategic Plan; allocate it the necessary budget funds to carry out the activities connected with the goals in the Institutional Strategic Plan 2010-2012 that correspond to the strategic objectives of “Institutional Strengthening” and “Operations,” which are pending or have been postponed until the next Plan; and provide it with the necessary resources to carry out its responsibilities, in particular, with respect to control of the decentralized sector and municipalities, as well as for providing training to its staff and having specialized staff and better physical infrastructure.

Second, as a result of the follow-up to the recommendations formulated to Dominican Republic in the First Round, the Committee made a determination as to those which still have to be considered, including, among others, those aimed at the following purposes: strengthening implementation of laws and regulatory systems on conflict of interest, so as to allow practical and effective enforcement of a system of public ethics; strengthening the operating capacity of the General Bureau of National Property so that it can properly perform its responsibilities in terms of creating and maintaining an inventory of state-owned property; continue and improve the work performed by the General Accounting Office in organizing the State's accounts, ensuring that it has the necessary resources to carry out its work; improve systems for control and evaluation of the contents of declarations of income, assets, and liabilities; moving ahead with the implementation of the General Freedom of Public Information Act; strengthening existing consultation mechanisms; and strengthening and continuing the implementation of mechanisms to encourage civil society and nongovernmental organizations to participate in public administration and its follow-up.

The report also summarizes the progress made in the implementation of those recommendations, including, the legal measure adopted with regard to the Civil Service Law, which expressly prohibits spouses and relatives up to the third degree from working in the same institution; the appointment of a governing body on conflict of interest; the allocation to that body of responsibilities with regard to receipt and investigation of complaints of alleged violations of ethical and disciplinary standards, which also has electronic mechanisms to facilitate lodging such complaints; the preparation of an online form through which obligated government officials can submit sworn declarations of assets; the presentation of an annual financial report by those officials to complement their declarations; the public availability of copies of those declarations via the PEPCA website; the appointment of the Ombudsman; the designation of a governing body on freedom of access to public information; and progress in standardizing the websites of public-sector agencies based on that body's guidelines, as well as in the opening of public information offices.

In addition to the foregoing, the report highlights the best practices that the Dominican Republic provided information, which in summary, refer to the standardization of the websites of public-sector agencies based on DIGEIG guidelines; the creation of a Forensic Audit Unit attached to the PEPCA, which assists investigations in the area of financial analysis and provides expert evidence; the Judicial Career System, “which governs the entry, training, promotion, separation, and retirement of judges based on the principles of merit, ability, and professionalism”; and implementation and follow-up of the National Internal Control System through the adoption of the Basic Standards on Internal Control (NOBACI) the aim of which is “to standardize processes and controls in government entities.”
During this Twenty-Third Meeting, similar reports were adopted for Nicaragua, Canada, Ecuador, and Guyana. The Dominican Republic report adopted by the Committee, as well as the aforementioned countries, are available at:

Edition N° 173 - March 2014

What is the MESICIC?

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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