Anti-Corruption Workshop to be Held in Belize

On March 11th and 12th 2010, the OAS’ Department of Legal Cooperation, of the Secretariat for Legal Affairs, in conjunction with the Attorney General’s Ministry of Belize, will hold a Workshop evaluating the First and Second Rounds of the Mechanism for the Follow-up on the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (MESICIC), as they pertain to Belize. The Workshop, which will gather representatives from Belizean ministries, national universities, business groups, development organizations, and various other branches of civil society, will be held in the Radisson Fort George and Marina Hotel in Belize City. Belize’s Minister of Public Service, John Saldivar, will deliver the opening remarks for the ceremony.

This diverse group of representatives will evaluate and strengthen the Draft Plan of Action written by Geraldo Flowers – a Belizean expert on corruption and anti-corruption mechanisms. His comprehensive work reviews Belize’s adherence to the MESICIC, specifically on the subjects of government hiring, conflict of interest, the training of public servants, the procurement of goods and services and the use of public resources, reporting income and assets, access to information, and the protection of whistleblowers, among other areas. It makes recommendations on how the Belizean government and legislature can strengthen anti-corruption mechanisms on these topics, and outlines the processes, actors, timeframe, and costs necessary in implementing a specific recommendation.

According to Dr. Flowers, civil society is an integral part of the workshop and of Belize’s National Plan of Action. “The main objective”, he states, “is to try to get people from a broad sector of society, especially civil society, to make the government truly transparent and responsible.”

Undoubtedly, this is not an easy task. Dr. Flowers, however, believes that this can be accomplished by “developing a partnership with civil society in monitoring and evaluating how the government is adding value to the lives of the citizens that it serves in the work that it does.”

Belize’s March workshop is one of several follow-up mechanisms to be held in 2010. Additional workshops in Trinidad and Tobago, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, and Suriname, among others, will also reinforce inter-American efforts at legal cooperation by strengthening national anti-corruption measures.

These workshops are all part of a general framework, established through the MESICIC, to fortify inter-American legal cooperation. The three-part process involves hiring a regionally-recognized consultant to write a draft plan of action on their country’s adherence to the MESICIC, followed by a national workshop where officials from the public and private sectors have the opportunity to enrich the consultant’s text. The third step is the integration of the first two steps, in which the consultant writes the final plan of action, taking into consideration the comments, suggestions, and questions posed during the national workshop. This follow-up mechanism gives added validity to the recommendations developed in the MESICIC Rounds of Review by evaluating both the function and practice of each recommendation within a country’s specific national context.


Edition N° 24 - March 2010

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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