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OAS ANTI-CORRUPTION MECHANISM (MESICIC) SUCCESSFULLY PROGRESSES IN EVALUATION OF STATES AND IN THE COOPERATION AGAINST CORRUPTION IN THE AMERICAS

The Committee of Experts of the Follow-up Mechanism for the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (MESICIC) held its Twenty-Fifth Meeting on March 16-20 and adopted important decisions that will significantly enhance cooperation in implementing the Convention under this Mechanism.

Those decisions, primarily related to the adoption of reports on Venezuela, The Bahamas, the United States, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Kitts and Nevis, marked a successful end to the Fourth Round of Review, in which the countries making up the aforementioned Mechanism received concrete recommendations as to how address gaps and correct shortcomings found in their legal frameworks with respect to the operations of their oversight bodies responsible for preventing, detecting, and punishing acts of corruption.

The Review Round also included an assessment of progress made by the countries with implementing the recommendations made at the time of the First Round of Review, on preventing conflicts of interest; the conservations of public resources; mechanisms for access to information; the encouragement of civil society participation in anti-corruption efforts; and international legal cooperation in investigating and prosecuting acts of corruption.

A highlight and a novelty of this Fourth Round of Review was the fact that, for the first time, on-site visits were made to the countries that agreed to them. This provided "on the ground" insight into the way the Convention is being implemented, while at the same time strengthening ties with the authorities responsible for implementing it, as well as with civil society and other private sector organizations, professional associations, academics, and researchers interested in combating corruption. Of the 31 countries that are currently parties to the MESICIC, 30 consented to an on-site visit and were in fact visited during the Fourth Round, and Fifth Round visits are being planned for those countries that agreed to them.

The reports on the 31 countries reviewed in the Fourth Round have been posted at the Anti-Corruption Portal of the Americas, along with the Hemispheric Report corresponding to that Round, which the Committee also adopted at this meeting. This Report summarizes the outcomes of the Round, highlighting the recommendations most frequently made and the collective progress made by countries with implementing the recommendations of the First Round.

Important decisions were also taken at the Twenty-Fifth Meeting to initiate the Fifth Round of Review. In addition to examining how best to instruct government personnel to ensure proper understanding of their responsibilities and ethical rules, and the prevention measures that take into account the relationship between equitable compensation and probity in public service, this new Round will follow-up on the recommendations formulated by the Committee of Experts for the Second Round regarding key areas of the Convention, such as government procurement, government hiring, and protection for those that report acts of corruption. Regarding these areas, the Fifth Round will conduct an updated review of the legal frameworks and results, with a view to making appropriate recommendations, as it will also do in respect of the other provisions of the Convention referred to above. The documents relating to the above-mentioned decisions can also be found at the Anti-Corruption Portal of the Americas.

Edition N 225 - March 2015

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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