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OAS Anti-Corruption Mechanism Adopts Reports of Canada, the United States, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Guatemala

The Committee of Experts of the Follow-up Mechanism for the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (MESICIC) of the OAS adopted reports on the implementation of this treaty in Canada, the United States, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Guatemala.

These reports were agreed in the framework of the eighteenth meeting of the Committee that ended on March 25, 2011 and corresponds to the fourth group of countries that are evaluated in the context of the Third Round of Review of the Mechanism.

The reports examine the legal and institutional framework of the states and make specific recommendations for their improvement in such important areas as the denial or elimination of favorable tax treatment for expenditures made in violation of anti-corruption laws, the prevention of the bribery of domestic and foreign government officials, transnational bribery, illicit enrichment, and extradition.

In this regard, the Committee formulated recommendations to the countries to encourage them, among other things, to strengthen their laws in order to help competent authorities detect funds paid for corruption when said funds are used to obtain favorable tax treatment.

With regard to the prevention of bribery of domestic and foreign government officials, the Committee recommended, among other things, that the states that do not yet have them, adopt appropriate measures to prevent professional secrecy provisions from preventing public accountants or other persons responsible for keeping accounting records in corporations or other types of associations, from being able to report the acts of corruption they detect in their work to the competent authorities.

Regarding transnational bribery and illicit enrichment, the Committee recommended that states for which it was legally appropriate, and which have not criminalized these offenses in their criminal systems, adopt the necessary legal provisions to do so.

With respect to extradition, when it considered it appropriate, the Committee recommended that the states, among other things, take measures to make greater use of the Convention in that area. Such measures could consist, inter alia, of training programs on possibilities for application of the Convention to extradition cases, designed specifically for judicial and administrative authorities with competence in this area.
Finally, the Committee evaluated the progress made by these six countries in implementing recommendations made to them earlier in other areas, in the framework of the First and Second Rounds of Review.

Civil society organizations also participated in this evaluation process by furnishing information regarding the topics under review, by both submitting documents and making presentations at the beginning of this meeting. The response by the states, the documents provided by civil society organizations, and the adopted reports are public and can be consulted on the Anti-Corruption Portal of the Americas.

Similarly, it should be noted that the following countries participated for the first time: Antigua and Barbuda, represented by Mr. Justin Simon, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs; Haiti, represented by Mr. Amos Durosier, Director General of the Anti-Corruption Unit; St. Kitts and Nevis, represented by Mr. John Tyme, Solicitor General, Ministry of the Attorney General, Justice and Legal Affairs. In December of 2010, on the occasion of the Third Meeting of the Conference of States Parties, in Brasilia, Brazil, these three States signed the Document of Buenos Aires, thereby becoming parties to the MESICIC. There are now 31 States that form part of the Mechanism.

During this third evaluation round, similar reports have been adopted on Argentina, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, Ecuador, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, Colombia, Panama, Chile, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and the Bahamas. The next countries to be reviewed are Grenada, Suriname, Brazil and Belize.

Edition N 49 - April 2011

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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