Online version of this Newsletter:
OAS ANTI-CORRUPTION MECHANISM ADOPTS REPORT ON SURINAME
At its Twenty Fourth Meeting, held September 8 – 12, 2014, the Committee of Experts of the Follow-up Mechanism for the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (MESICIC) adopted the Suriname report on the implementation of this treaty in the framework of the Fourth Round of Review of the Mechanism. This is the fourth such report that has been issued by the MESICIC in relation to Suriname’s implementation of this Convention.
The review focused on the structure, operation and results of four principal oversight bodies in Suriname responsible for preventing, detecting, punishing and eradicating corruption: the High Court of Justice, the Public Prosecutions Department, the Ministry of Justice and Police, and the Central Government Auditing Bureau (CLAD, according to its Dutch acronym). The progress made by Suriname in relation to the recommendations of the First Round of the MESICIC was also reviewed.
In carrying out this review, Suriname’s response to a questionnaire was taken into account, as well as information gathered by the Technical Secretariat and, as a new and important source of information, an on-site visit conducted from March 31 to April 2, 2014. Members of the review subgroup for Suriname, comprising of Brazil and Paraguay, participated in this visit, along with Technical Secretariat of the MESICIC. Information furnished by Suriname was clarified and expanded during this visit, and the opinions of civil society organizations, the private sector, professional associations, academics, and researchers on issues of relevance to the review were heard.
Some of the recommendations formulated to Suriname for its consideration in connection with the aforementioned bodies are, among others, the following:
In relation to the High Court of Justice, consider resumption of the process of appointing judges; implementation of a job description and post classification manual for judges, as well as development of disciplinary procedures for judges and a code of ethics; strengthening the financial autonomy of the High Court of Justice; and introduction of the obligation for the High Court of Justice to present accountability reports to the State and the citizenry on the performance of its constitutionally assigned justice-administration functions
As regards the Public Prosecutions Department, consider strengthening this oversight body by providing it with sufficient human and financial resources; creation of an anticorruption unit in the Police Department to work in coordination with the Public Prosecutions Department; strengthening of the financial autonomy of the Public Prosecutions Department; and introduction of the obligation for the Public Prosecutions Department to present accountability reports to the State and the citizenry on the performance of its constitutionally assigned functions of investigation and prosecution of criminal acts, including acts of corruption.
With respect to the Ministry of Justice and Police (MJP), consider implementation of measures to officially assign the function of preventing corruption to the MJP or some other government organ; development of regulated decision-making processes and strengthening of internal controls; implementation of inter-institutional mechanisms; and publication of the annual financial and management reports of the MJP on its website as well as through other media.
As for the Central Government Auditing Bureau (CLAD), consider introduction of the obligation to relay cases that disclose evidence of corruption directly to the Public Prosecutions Department for investigation and prosecution; update of the standards governing the CLAD, creating the conditions to enable it to have a Director and Executive Board; and disclosure of the CLAD’s management and annual reports, so that members of the public can access this information.
Some of the recommendations still pending from the First Round address issues such as: strengthening implementation of the provisions on conflicts of interest for public servants; establishment of mechanisms that specifically require public servants to report to appropriate authorities acts of corruption in the performance of public functions of which they are aware; establishment of systems for registering income, assets and liabilities of public servants; establishment of an effective enforceable system for access to public information; and introduction of laws and mechanisms that encourage civil society and nongovernmental organizations to participate in the follow-up of public administration.
In addition to the above, the report outlines the best practice on which Suriname provided information, which refers, succinctly, to the Ministry of Justice and Police’s awareness building programs on corruption prevention that are aimed at the media, whose task it is to inform the public; as well as training provided by this Ministry on prevention matters to high-ranking authorities and other public officials so that they can distinguish between what is and what is not corruption.
During this Twenty Fourth Meeting, similar reports were adopted for Belize, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The Suriname report adopted by the Committee, as well as the aforementioned countries, are available here.
For more information, please visit the Anti-corruption Portal of the Americas.
Edition N° 190 - September 2014
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.
Click here to subscribe or unsubscribe from this newsletter.
19th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington DC 20006