OAS Anti-Corruption Mechanism Holds On-Site Visit to Antigua and Barbuda
A Commission of the Anti-Corruption Mechanism of the Organization of American States (OAS) held an “on-site” visit to Antigua and Barbuda from October 7- 9, with the country´s consent, as part of the review process that the Mechanism carries out in accordance with the methodology adopted by consensus among its member states.
The Commission of the Mechanism for Follow-Up on the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (MESICIC) was composed of the delegations of The Bahamas and Chile, as States Parties of the review sub-group for Antigua and Barbuda. In this regard, the delegation of The Bahamas was made up of Franklyn Williams, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions and Lead Expert of his country to the MESICIC Committee of Experts. The delegation of Chile was comprised of Luis Felipe Sepúlveda, Advisor to the International Conventions Unit of the General Government Internal Audit Council; and María Loreto Gutiérrez Alvear, Public Prosecutor at the Judicial Court of Appeals of Santiago, among others. The Commission also received the support of the OAS General Secretariat, through the Department of Legal Cooperation, acting in its capacity as Technical Secretariat of the MESICIC.
During the three days of work, the Commission’s members had the opportunity to meet with the highest authorities and other representatives of Antigua and Barbuda’s Integrity Commission; the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Legal Affairs; the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions; the Office of the Director of Audit; the Public Service Commission; and of the Office of the Commissioner of Information, among others, in order to obtain objective and thorough information and be informed of potential difficulties in the implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption.
In addition, the Commission had the opportunity to meet with civil society organizations, the private sector and professional associations in order to address issues related to civil society’s perspective on the role of oversight bodies in Antigua and Barbuda; conflict of interests; sworn declarations of income, assets and liabilities; as well as access to public information in Antigua and Barbuda.
As in all previous on-site visits to other member states, the results of this visit are part of the review process that is currently being carried out by the Committee of Experts of the MESICIC, which will conclude with the adoption of the report on Antigua and Barbuda by the Committee, at its next meeting to be held in March 2015, at OAS headquarters in Washington, DC.
The MESICIC is a cooperation mechanism between States, which includes the participation of civil society and other 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 review process represents an innovative and pioneering initiative in the context of the OAS, particularly for a peer review mechanism and the importance of the issues it addresses.