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OAS ANTI-CORRUPTION MECHANISM ADOPTS HAITI REPORT
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 its first report on Haiti.
Bearing in mind that the Republic of Haiti was not party to the MESICIC when the First Round of MESICIC was conducted, the report is a comprehensive review of Haiti’s implementation of the provisions of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption that the Committee of Experts of the MESICIC selected for review in the First Round and the Fourth Round, which is currently being carried out by the MESICIC.
The provisions selected for review in the First Round are those provided in Article III, paragraph 1 (Standards of conduct: conflicts of interest, conservation of public resources, obligation to report); Article III, paragraph 2 (Mechanisms to enforce the standards of conduct); Article III, paragraph 4 (Systems for registering income, assets and liabilities); Article III, paragraph 11 (Participation by civil society); Article XIV (Assistance and Cooperation), and Article XVIII (Central Authorities).
Article III, paragraph 9 was selected for the Fourth Round, which concerns the “oversight bodies with a view to implementing modern mechanisms for preventing, detecting, punishing and eradicating corrupt acts.”
The examination was carried out taking into account Haiti’s response to a questionnaire, information gathered by the Technical Secretariat, and, as a new and important source of information, an on-site visit conducted in Port-au-Prince, April 8 - 10, 2014. This visit was carried out by a team comprising of anti-corruption experts from Ecuador and Panama, as well as a member of the MESICIC Technical Secretariat. During that visit, the review team met with representatives of government institutions as well with representatives of civil society organizations, private sector and professional associations, on issues of relevance to the fight against corruption.
With respect to the review of standards of conduct and mechanisms to enforce them, the recommendations made to Haiti included the following:
- establish standards of conduct to regulate,
specifically and in detail, those situations that could constitute
conflicts of interest for senior government officials (such as Ministers
and Secretaries of State), members of Parliament and members of the
Judicial Branch and the Public Prosecution Service, as well as the
appropriate mechanisms to enforce them;
With regard to the mechanisms to encourage participation by civil society and nongovernmental organizations in efforts to prevent corruption, the recommendations included the following:
- develop regulatory instruments that classify as
public any information and documents relating to the performance of
public sector organs and entities, with the exceptions established under
the legal system; and instruments that give every person the right to
request information, to consult documents that are in the possession of
or under the control of public institutions and that concern official
measures, and to request a copy of them, with the exception of the cases
protected by law; and
As for mutual assistance, mutual technical cooperation and central authorities, the following was recommended:
- establish a unit or office of legal cooperation
within the Ministry of Justice and Public Security and ensure that said
authority has sufficient resources and technical preparation to promptly
formulate and respond to requests for assistance and cooperation made
pursuant to the Convention, and
Based on the review and contributions made throughout the report, the following were among the general recommendations also offered:
- design and implement, where appropriate, training
programs for public servants responsible for application of the systems,
standards, measures, and mechanisms included in this report, in order to
ensure that they are thoroughly understood and properly handled and
Some of the recommendations formulated to Haiti for its consideration in connection with the aforementioned bodies are, among others, the following:
- Strengthen the ULCC, the CSC/CA, the CSPJ and the
IGF by ensuring that they have the infrastructure they need to properly
perform their functions, and the conditions necessary to attract and
retain the required human resources, especially in their regional
offices, taking the availability of resources into account.
In addition to the foregoing, the report highlights the best practice which Haiti provided information, which refers to the adoption of the “Declaration of Port-au-Prince.” This six-page document is dated April 21, 2005, and bears the signature of forty-eight (48) leaders of political parties. It was prepared after two workshops (April 20 - 21, 2005) organized at the initiative of the ULCC together with the Fondation Héritage pour Haïti (Haitian Chapter of Transparency International). The signatories of that document recommended that the institutions charged with preventing and punishing corruption be strengthened and given the independence necessary to perform their respective mandates. They undertook a series of commitments, which included ethical practices within their political parties, the formation of an anti-corruption commission in the two houses of Parliament in the next session of Congress, promotion of decency and honesty, ratification of the two conventions the country had signed on the subject of corruption, and heightening public awareness to the corrosive effects of corruption.
During this Twenty Fourth Meeting, similar reports were adopted for Jamaica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Belize and Haiti. The Grenada 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° 192 - 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.
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