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Anti-Corruption Workshop to be Held in Guatemala

On April 12th and 13th 2010, the OAS’ Department of Legal Cooperation, of the Secretariat for Legal Affairs, in conjunction with the Guatemalan Transparency and Anti-Corruption Commission, 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 Guatemala. The Workshop, which will gather representatives from Guatemalan ministries, national universities, business groups, development organizations, and various other branches of civil society, will be held in the Hotel Barceló in Guatemala City. Guatemala’s Vice President, Dr. Rafael Espada, will deliver the opening remarks for the ceremony.

This diverse group of representatives will evaluate and strengthen the Draft Plan of Action written by Vania Soto – a Guatemalan expert on corruption and anti-corruption mechanisms. Her comprehensive work reviews Guatemala’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 Guatemalan 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. Juan Luiz Velásquez Carrera, Special Advisor to the Guatemalan Vice-Presidency on Corruption Issues, the MESICIC Action Plan Process has multiple benefits and a wide scope. “Not only does the plan increase public authorities’ consciousness of the (MESICIC) recommendations, but it also fosters inter-institutional development which allows for the effective implementation of these recommendations”, he states.

In fact, Dr. Velásquez believes that the action plans in general have the ability to “highlight the goals achieved and lessons learned in other Member States in their implementation of the MESICIC recommendations.”

Guatemala’s workshop is one of several follow-up mechanisms to be held in 2010. Additional workshops in the Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, and Suriname 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 document is then provided to the appropriate governmental authority who approves the plan. 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° 28 - April 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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Department of Legal Cooperation
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