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OAS anti-corruption committee to visit Guyana

A Commission from the OAS Mechanism for Follow-Up on the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (MESICIC) will conduct, from October 8 to 10, an on-site visit to Guyana,the hemispheric organisation said in a statement.

The OAS said the visit would be conducted with the consent of the host country, as part of the review process that the Mechanism is carrying out, inter pares, in accordance with the Methodology for Conducting On-Site Visits, adopted by its member states.

The visit comes as the Guyana government continues to get low marks for Perception of Corruption by Transparency International.

The Commission will be made up of representatives from Haiti and Trinidad and Tobago, as well as from the Department of Legal Cooperation of the Secretariat for Legal Affairs of the OAS, in its capacity as the Technical Secretariat of the MESICIC. Meetings are to take place with representatives from oversight bodies responsible for preventing, detecting and punishing corruption, the purpose of which is to review the manner in which the Inter-American Convention against Corruption is being implemented in Guyana and to provide first hand, objective and complete information for consideration of its national report, which will be adopted by the Committee of Experts of the MESICIC in a plenary meeting in March 2014.

In addition, the Commission plans to meet with civil society organizations in the country to address the topics that are currently being reviewed in the Fourth Round of the Mechanism. It will also provide an opportunity to address the implementation of the recommendations formulated in the First Round, in areas such as conflicts of interest, the reporting of acts of corruption, and systems for registering income, assets and liabilities.

To date, the countries that have received on-site visits, in order designated by the MESICIC, are: Brazil, El Salvador, Mexico, Bolivia, Paraguay, Peru, Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago, Honduras, Panama, Chile, Uruguay, Colombia and Guatemala.

The MESICIC is a cooperation mechanism between states, with the participation of civil society organizations, established within the framework of the OAS, in which the legal/institutional framework of each country is reviewed for suitability with the Inter-American Convention against Corruption as well as the objective results achieved therein. The incorporation of on-site visits as a stage and integral part of the MESICIC represents an innovative and pioneering initiative of the OAS, which, with the support of the Technical Secretariat, has further strengthened this review process.