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On September 12, at its Twenty-fourth Meeting, the Committee of Experts of the OAS Anticorruption Mechanism (MESICIC) adopted a report on the implementation in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption.

This report provides a comprehensive review of the structure, operation and results obtained in the Office of the Attorney General, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), the Director of Audit (DOA), and the Service Commissions Department of the Public Service Commissions (SCD), four of the oversight bodies responsible for preventing, detecting and punishing corruption in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

This review was performed taking into account the information provided by the country under review, and the information gathered during the on-site site visit held in Kingstown in April this year by representatives of Panama, Saint Kitts and Nevis and the MESICIC Technical Secretariat, where meetings were held with representatives of the aforementioned government bodies, and with representatives of civil society and the private sector in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Besides the review, this report contains a set of recommendations to be considered by Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in relation to the foregoing oversight bodies that address the following:

With respect to the Office of the Attorney General, establish inter-institutional coordination mechanisms to assist and ensure that public agencies abide by their legal obligation of requesting the Office of the Attorney General’s legal advice in a timely and correct fashion, particularly in matters involving acts of corruption; work toward the drafting of legislative bills on transparency and anticorruption, dealing with, for instance, integrity in public service; and develop Office of the Attorney General-led policies and/or campaigns that would allow both public servants and the general population to develop a preventive attitude to ensure transparency and avoid acts of corruption.

As regards the DOA, provide the DOA with the human and financial resources necessary to ensure due compliance with its constitutional and legal duties, chiefly as regards conducting audits and detecting corrupt acts that trigger responsibility for the persons involved therein; take the steps necessary to ensure that those public agencies subject to the DOA’s oversight effectively comply with the recommendations issued in its audit reports; strengthen control mechanisms of the DOA through the effective and timely implementation of the terms of section 22(1) of the Audit Act; and to adopt coordination and cooperation mechanisms to enable the DOA to send the DPP, the Royal Police Force, and/or the Financial Intelligence Unit, as applicable, timely notification of such evidence of corrupt acts that the DOA detects in the audits that it carries out.

With respect to the DPP, take the steps necessary to conclude the effective implementation of the National Prosecution Service in order to strengthen, inter alia, the DPP’s powers of supervision over procedures carried by police prosecutors; to implement coordination mechanisms between the DPP, the Royal Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force, the Office of the Attorney General, and the Financial Intelligence Unit, in order to establish effective and timely procedures and/or guidelines for exchanges of information and legal advice for the correct presentation before the courts of criminal proceedings related to acts of corruption; and to prepare statistical data on its duties and responsibilities.

Concerning the SCD, consider updating the provisions that govern the SCD, in particular the Civil Service Orders for the Public Service of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, which were enacted prior to the 1979 Constitution, and bringing them into line with the current standards necessary for the correct, honorable, and due performance of public functions; promote and regulate public reporting of acts of corruption in public service; and establish efficient and effective inter-institutional coordination to encourage and ensure that permanent secretaries, department heads, or other persons with the responsibility of doing so provide the SCD with the timely information it needs to perform its functions of disciplinary control and personnel administration within the public administration.

In a second part, the report also contains the follow-up on the recommendations formulated to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in the First Round and with respect to which, the Committee, in previous reports, found required additional attention. Some of the recommendations formulated to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in the First Round that remain pending include: to strengthen provisions on standards of conduct aimed at preventing conflicts of interest, to update systems of control and use of resources within the public administration; to adopt standards to strengthen the systems for registering income, assets, and liabilities and, where appropriate, for making such registrations public, and to Adopt, as soon as possible, the necessary measures for the promulgation and full entry into force of the Freedom of Information Act (Act No. 27) of 2003.

With the report of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, there were also adopted reports for Belize, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, and Suriname, which are all available here.

For more information, please visit the Anti-corruption Portal of the Americas.

Edition N° 187 - September 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.

Read more here




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