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Governments must publish their commitments to the OAS Anti-corruption Convention

Follow-up Mechanism of Inter-American Convention against Corruption is basis for greater accountability

Greater access to information contained in the reports issued by the Organisation of American States (OAS) on country performance and increased involvement of civil society in related efforts constitute the main changes incorporated into the Follow-up Mechanism for the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (IACAC). The advances were approved by the Committee of Experts responsible for reviewing the implementation of the IACAC by countries in the hemisphere. The IACAC is the most clear-cut tool available to countries of the Americas in developing a sound anti-corruption platform in the hemisphere.

“Disclosing implementation reports will allow civil society to assess the commitments undertaken by governments and demand accountability from their representatives. Since the monitoring process was set in motion in 2001, Transparency International has advocated a more open, participatory process,” stated Silke Pfeiffer, Director of the Americas Department of Transparency International (TI). “TI continues to closely monitor each country’s progress in meeting the anti-corruption targets defined in the Inter-American Convention against Corruption to ensure citizens have information needed to act on this fundamental element of accountability,” Pfeiffer continued.

The reform undertaken by the IACAC Follow-up Mechanism requires publication of all national reports, which had previously been left to the discretion of each government. Such reports review the extent to which each government has implemented the convention. Recommendations are provided to each country to ensure full compliance with its international commitments. The report further details how each government must inform the Committee of Experts of its specific initiatives aimed at combating corruption. Until now, governments were not required to report on their actions in advance, which undermined the Mechanism’s potential. Civil society now enjoys a greater opportunity to participate and to forward their findings on countries’ compliance to the Committee.

“The Follow-up Mechanism must still be strengthened. Civil society has demonstrated that it has a wealth of knowledge and expertise to contribute. Welcoming civil society as observers at the meetings of the Committee of Experts will allow that contribution to reach those who will most benefit from it”, underscored Miguel Peñailillo, Regional Coordinator of TI’s Anti-corruption Conventions Programme in the Americas.

“The countries of the Americas must ratify the other anti-corruption instrument for the hemisphere, the United Nations Convention against Corruption, which will enter into force in December 2005. At present, only 7 countries in the region have done so,” added Peñailillo.

View TI’s recommendations for strengthening MESISIC (in Spanish):

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Transparency International is the leading civil society organisation devoted to the global fight against corruption.

Note for Editors: In partnership with other civil society organisations in the hemisphere, TI has contributed to the Follow-up Mechanism by submitting independent reports on the advances made by the governments in the region in the fight against corruption and within the framework of the OAS Convention. TI representatives in Canada, Guatemala and the United States were among the last to submit their independent reports in September 2005. Brazil’s review in March 2006 will conclude the first round of the Follow-up Mechanism. To view the reports submitted by TI National Chapters, click here.


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