‘Focal points’ in gov’t ministries being trained to detect, prevent corruption- Min. Teixeira
As part of efforts to eliminate corruption, particularly as it relates to the expenditure of public funds, the focus has been placed on identifying and training individuals in various government ministries who can identify and prevent corruption.
This is according to the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance Gail Teixeira, who spoke during a News Room Insider interview aired on Sunday night.
The minister said that by the end of August, local authorities will engage in a workshop with the United Nations’ Office on Drugs and Crime to deal with the country’s anti-corruption preparation under the UN Convention against Corruption.
This convention is a legally binding international anti-corruption multilateral treaty that has been adopted by Guyana. The country has also adopted the Inter-American Convention against Corruption.
It is expected that focal points – individuals within various government ministries – would be trained in areas relating to both conventions. According to the UN, the Convention covers five main areas: preventive measures, criminalization and law enforcement, international cooperation, asset recovery, and technical assistance and information exchange.
The UN Convention also covers many different forms of corruption, including bribery, trading in influence, abuse of functions, and various acts of corruption in the private sector. Meanwhile, the Inter-American Convention establishes a set of preventive measures; provides for the criminalization of certain acts of corruption, including transnational bribery and illicit enrichment; and contains a series of provisions to strengthen the cooperation between its States Parties
“By doing those conventions and training and learning about them, it makes them (people within the ministries) more sensitive to the work that they do within their sectors and when they are being viewed by the world that they are consequences too,” Teixeira explained.
And, as these efforts progress, she commented, “We are moving incrementally forward.”
Meanwhile, the minister also explained that corruption may emanate from outside of government ministries. In fact, she said that it can come from the communities, local government organs and other state entities.
Minister Teixeira related that Guyana has a number of regulatory bodies and offices such as the Public Procurement Commission and the Auditor General’s office. And, the country has its anti-corruption and procurement laws.
As such, she contended, “The anti-corruption framework I think in our country is there in terms of the legal (aspect) and in terms of regulatory bodies.
“But we have to now look at ensuring that they work effectively and that we are able to ensure that the systems are working effectively.”
In so doing, she stated that these institutions have to be effective. And, to be effective, she said that they must be well-prepared and well-resourced.