AG expresses preference for common Caribbean legislation tackling corruption
-during meeting with UNODC officials
Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Honourable Mohabir Anil Nandlall, SC, MP, today, September 3rd, 2021, met with Ms. Bo Shakira Harris, Associate Programme Management Officer and Mr. Jason Reichelt, Crime and Prevention Office at United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Also present at the meeting were Ms. Joanna Bond, Deputy-Chief Parliamentary Counsel and Mr. Chevy Devonish, State Counselof the Attorney General Chambers.
The UNODC officers paid a courtesy call on the Attorney General to update him on the recently completed three day Anti-Corruption Workshop in Guyana. The workshop was facilitated by the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, with support from the UNODC and was aimed at building institutional capacity for reporting and fighting corruption.
The officers informed Minister Nandlall that Guyana is currently under review and UNDOC came to support that process. Thus, the workshop focused on the checklist process which involves Guyana assessing itself against the UN Convention Against Corruption. After the checklist is completed there is then a desk-based review where recommendations would be made highlighting how Guyana can strengthen its laws, polices and institutions dealing with anti-corruption. This will enable Guyana to fully implement the Convention.
The Attorney General reaffirmed that Guyana is committed to combatting corruption in all its forms and this is evidenced by the fact that the country has signed on to all major international anti-corruption agreements in the hemisphere. He reminded that the Government has taken a strong stance against corruption and has instituted several legal proceedings tackling the corruption which permeated and flowed from the previous administration both in civil as well as commercial Courts.
Minister Nandlall expressed a preference for a common, specific legislation in the Caribbean dealing with corruption. He further indicated that as Guyana is now an oil producing nation, this new sector brings with it new challenges, risks and responsibilities. Therefore, the Government has to take the requisite steps to build the regulatory framework that can address the issue of corruption in the various sectors.
On the issue of technical assistance, UNODC indicated that they provide assistance to countries in the preparation of legislation and review of draft laws and legislation. AG informed the officers that Impact Justice Caribbean has prepared a model Anti-Corruption Bill for the region. UNODC has indicated a willingness to review the said Bill.