Transparency International, the world's leading anti-corruption organization, applauded Argentina's Anti-Corruption Office today for making public the OAS recommendations on measures Argentina should take to comply with the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption.
The final report of the OAS Committee of Experts, which is charged with reviewing each country's compliance with the Convention, was made public by the Anti-Corruption Office on February 28, 2003 and is available at http://www.anticorrupcion.gov.ar.
"By working closely with civil society and promptly publishing the first report, Argentina's Anti-Corruption Office has set a precedent for the other member countries to follow," said Rosa Inés Ospina, Vice Chairperson of Transparency International. "The Argentine authority has gone beyond the requirements of the Follow-up Mechanism for the Convention to create a cooperative climate in which citizens will also be able to contribute to promoting the recommended reforms."
Publication of the recommendations is only the most recent step by the Argentinian Anti-Corruption Office to ensure transparency in the process of following up on implementation of the convention. It has published all its submissions to the mechanism, and has established a strong working relationship with the Follow-up Commission for Compliance with the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption, which includes TI's national chapter in Argentina, Poder Ciudadano.
The Argentinian report is the first issued so far by the OAS Committee of Experts. Reviews for Colombia, Nicaragua and Paraguay are expected to be completed by July 2003.
Transparency International national chapters in the Americas, working in cooperation with other citizen organizations, have sought to provide a non-governmental perspective to the intergovernmental Follow-up Mechanism in both written submissions and presentations to the Committee. Civil society representatives from four countries met with the Committee of Experts on February 10, 2003 in Washington, D.C. They provided substantive commentary about government compliance, which indicated common obstacles to progress, such as inadequate separation of powers, weak judicial systems and lack of access to information. The Committee's report on Argentina takes into account some, but not all, of the civil society observations. They were presented by Natalia Torres of Poder Ciudadano, and Angel Bruno of the Follow-up Commission for Compliance with the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption, a consortium of civil society organizations that submitted a report to the Committee of Experts. They plan to work with the Anti-Corruption Office to monitor implementation of the report's recommendations.
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