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On March 20, 2015, at its Twenty-Fifth Meeting, the Committee of Experts of the OAS Anticorruption Mechanism (MESICIC) adopted a report on the implementation in the United States of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption.

This report provides a comprehensive review of the structure, operation and results achieved by the Disclosure Unit of the Office of the Special Counsel (OSC), the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE), the Public Integrity Section (PIN) of the Department of Justice, and the Office of Government Ethics (OGE), four of the oversight bodies responsible for preventing, detecting and punishing corruption in the United States.

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 Washington D.C. in October, 2014 by representatives of Argentina, Belize and the MESICIC Technical Secretariat, where meetings were held with representatives of the aforementioned government bodies, and with representatives of civil society, the private sector and professional associations in the United States.

In addition to the review, this report contains a set of recommendations to be considered by United States in relation to the foregoing oversight bodies that address the following:

With regard to the Disclosure Unit of the OSC, consider defining the phrase “substantial likelihood” used in 5 U.S.C., § 1214; examine the need to provide the Disclosure Unit with additional authority to resolve disclosures that it receives; and make greater use of the authority granted to the OSC by 5 U.S.C. § 1213(g)(1) in order for the Disclosure Unit to receive disclosures from those who are neither employees, former employees, nor applicants for employment meeting the conditions of 5 U.S.C. § 1213(c)(2)(A) or (B), as well as from contractors.

With regard to the CIGIE, consider defining or providing more guidance on the term “general supervision” as used in the Inspector General Act of 1978; take steps to ensure prompt action in appointments to vacant IG positions; and consider clarifying when and it what instances attorney-client privilege or other Federal laws may be used to refuse to provide an Inspector General with requested information.

With regard to the PIN, ensure that there is adequate coordination between the PIN and the United States Attorneys Offices, and consider maintaining statistics on the results of investigations and prosecutions broken down in such a way so as to identify the types of criminal conduct or offenses that led to prosecutions and convictions

With regard to the OGE, consider steps to ensure that ethics officials receive adequate training to promote uniform application of ethics principles in the agencies of the executive branch; promote periodic meetings between Designated Agency Ethics Officials and Alternate Designated Agency Ethics Officials; review OGE regulations to identify any rules that could be made more effective; and consider making any necessary changes to the Ethics in Government Act in order to ensure its continued effectiveness.

The second part of the report contains the follow-up on the recommendations formulated to the United States in the First Round and with respect to which, the Committee, in previous reports, determined required additional attention. In this regard, the report notes that all of the recommendations formulated to the United States in the First Round have been satisfactorily considered.

The United States also provided information, for inclusion in the report, on four best practices, referring, in summary to the MOU between OSC and the National Science Foundation; the promotion of “Suspension and Debarment” by the CIGIE; the indictment review procedure used by the Public Integrity Section, and the assistance provided to the President and the Senate by OGE as part of the Presidential appointment process.

Together with the report on the United States, reports were also adopted corresponding to: Venezuela, the Bahamas, Antigua and Barbuda and Saint Kitts and Nevis, which are all available here

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


Edition N° 226 - 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.

Read more here




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