OAS anticorruption mechanism holds on-site visit to St Kitts-Nevis
A Commission of the Anti-Corruption Mechanism of the Organization of American States (OAS) held an “on-site” visit to St Kitts and Nevis on October 8, with the country’s consent, as part of the analysis 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 made up of the delegations of Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago, as the states parties of MESICIC comprising the review subgroup for St Kitts and Nevis. The Commission was supported by the General Secretariat of the OAS, through the Department of Legal Cooperation, acting in its capacity as Technical Secretariat of the MESICIC.
During the three days of the visit, the representatives of MESICIC reviewed, on-site, the principal oversight bodies responsible for combating corruption in this Eastern Caribbean country. Meetings were held with the senior officers of the Attorney General’s Chambers, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Office of the Ombudsman, the Magistrate’s Department, and the Royal Police Force.
Also, the representatives of MESICIC had the opportunity to meet with civil society and private sector organizations to address cooperation issues between them and public institutions in the fight against corruption; citizen participation mechanisms; and access to public information.
The results of this visit form part of the review process that is currently being carried out by the Committee of Experts of the MESICIC, and which will conclude with the adoption of St Kitts and Nevis report by the Committee at its next meeting to be held in March 2015, in Washington DC at OAS Headquarters.
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.