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OAS Anticorruption Committee adopts reports on Venezuela, Ecuador, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago and Colombia
(March 26, 2010). At a meeting that concluded on March 26, 2010, the Committee of Experts of the Mechanism for Follow-up on Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (MESICIC) adopted reports on the Convention’s implementation in Venezuela, Ecuador, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago and Colombia.
Some of the topics addressed in those reports are related to private-sector responsibility in corruption matters. Thus, for example, the reports offer a detailed assessment of the countries’ legal and institutional frameworks and provide specific recommendations to prevent individuals and corporations from obtaining favorable tax treatment for expenditures made in violation of anticorruption laws, as well as regarding mechanisms for ensuring that publicly held companies and other types of associations maintain books and accounting records and internal controls that enable their officers to detect acts of corruption.
In addition, the reports assess whether the countries prohibit and punish what is known as “transnational bribery,” which takes place when a person or company from one state bribes officials from another state to act or omit any formality relating to an economic or commercial transaction, and “illicit enrichment,” which occurs when a public employee significantly increases his assets in relation to his lawful earnings during the performance of his functions and is unable to reasonably explain.
The reports also examine whether the countries have implemented provisions governing cooperation on extradition in corruption cases, as provided for in the OAS Convention.
In each case, the reports examine the objective results the countries have attained through the enforcement of the legal provisions and other measures that they have in place for addressing each of the topics under review.
Since this is the third occasion on which these states have been assessed within this framework, the reports also examine the progress each country has made with implementing the recommendations made by MESICIC in the two previous rounds, which cover such topics as conflicts of interest, public servants’ sworn statements of assets, access to public information and other mechanisms for civil society participation in preventing corruption, protection for whistleblowers, and assistance in obtaining evidence for investigating and prosecuting acts of corruption.
The full texts of the reports adopted by the MESICIC with respect to Venezuela, Ecuador, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago and Colombia will be published on the internet at http://www.oas.org/juridico/english/mesicic_III_rep.htm.
MESICIC is a mechanism established under the framework of the Organization of American States (OAS) through which the States mutually assess each other, on an equal basis, regarding the measures they have adopted and results they have obtained in implementing the Inter-American Convention against Corruption. In addition, in light of those analyses, specific recommendations are offered regarding areas where there are shortcomings or where additional progress is required.
Civil society organizations participate in this evaluation process by furnishing information on each country regarding the topics under review, by both submitting documents and making presentations at the meetings of the Committee of Experts at which the country reports are considered and adopted. The response by the states, the documents provided by civil society organizations, and the adopted reports are public and can be consulted on the OAS web page (http://www.oas.org/juridico/english/mesicic_com_experts.htm).
During this third evaluation round, similar reports have been adopted on Argentina, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay. In addition, reports examining the same topics in the other member states of the Anticorruption Mechanism will also be considered.
Edition N° 27 - March 2010
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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