Gov’t, UNODC kick off three-day workshop to build institutional capacity, fight corruption

The Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, with support from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), commenced a three-day workshop, aimed at building institutional capacity for reporting and fighting corruption. 

During the opening ceremony at the Police Training Centre in Georgetown, on Monday, Minister, Gail Teixeira, MP, said the strengthening of local institutions remains critical to fighting corruption in Guyana.

Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, Gail Teixeira, MP

“We need as a country, as a small country in terms of population, in terms of our skills base, to be able to work in an organised structured manner and to be able to develop the capacities of each of the agencies involved as well as at the national level and that is what this workshop is about.

I think that this morning, for me it is all about developing a national mechanism for the treaty reporting on the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) and the Inter-America Convention against corruption.”

Meanwhile, Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer at the UNODC, Jason Reichelt said the fight against corruption is a global one. He noted, however that eliminating corruption has become even more critical and urgent now during the pandemic.

[From left to right] UNODC Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer Jason Reichelt; United Nations Resident Coordinator (ag) Dr Gillian Smith; Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, Gail Teixeira, MP

“In the time of the pandemic and the time of COVID-19, we know that corruption has had particularly challenging effects on governments’ ability to respond to the crisis, to respond to the pandemic through corruption in public procurement and the acquisition of necessary medical supplies and equipment and the distribution and the manufacturing of vaccines and treatments for recovery,” Reichelt noted.

The workshop is also aimed at providing a high-level review of the UNCAC Implementation Review Mechanism, focusing particularly on the procedures and various steps in a review, along with an in-depth article-by-article discussion on the chapters under review.

Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, Gail Teixeira, MP, chats with recently-sworn in CARICOM Secretary General, Carla Barnett and United Nations Resident Coordinator (ag) Dr. Gillian Smith

This will allow experts and members of the National Coordinating Committee to engage in discussions to exchange information and clarify key concepts to get an understanding of information that might be relevant for the review of each article.

The agencies participating in the three-day workshop include the Public Service Commission, Police Service Commission; the Ombudsman; Integrity Commission; Department of Public Information; Special Organised Crime Unit; Public Procurement Commission; departments under the Guyana Police Force; Office of the Auditor General; Financial Intelligence Unit; Judicial Service Commission; Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions; the Ministry of Legal Affairs; the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board; the Bankers’ Association of Guyana, as well as the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs. Over the next three days, the participants will familiarise themselves and receive knowledge on the codes of the UN Convention; public procurement and management of public finances, public reporting and participation of society preventative anti-corruption policies and practices; measures relating to the judiciary and prosecution services, among other key areas.