Parliament hosts anti-corruption seminar
GINA, GUYANA, Thursday, November 10, 2016
The National Assembly in collaboration with the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association of the United Kingdom facilitated a parliamentary forum on anti-corruption.
Speaker of the National Assembly Dr. Barton Scotland said the information that will come out of the two- day seminar which is being held at the Marriott Hotel, Kingston will be beneficial in the completion of the draft Code of Conduct for all Ministers of Government, Members of the National Assembly and public office holders.
“It is hoped that the discussions over the next two days will provide further information for the drafters of this document,” Scotland said. The Code of Conduct provides guidance for the behaviour of persons holding public office.
Scotland noted that Parliamentarians stand to benefit significantly from information on accountability and transparency which will be discussed at the seminar. “There is still a great deal of work to be done to strengthen what is already here,” Scotland noted. The Speaker of the National Assembly said the forum was timely in the fight against corruption.
“It is therefore a good thing for this forum to be held, to further enable the Parliamentarians, and no doubt, the wider public to be aware of corruption, to recognise the signs of corruption and to feel bold enough to take steps to combat it,” Scotland said.
Guyana became a signatory to the Inter-American Convention against Corruption in March 2001. A committee has been formed which has been tasked with overseeing the mechanism on the implementation of the Convention, Scotland said.
Scotland pointed out that the National Assembly has taken several measures to comply with this convention. In 2003, the National Assembly passed Resolution No 19 which saw the creation of four sectoral committees: Economic Services, Social Services, Natural Resources and Foreign Relations.
“These sectoral committees are tasked with the responsibility for the scrutiny of all areas of government’s policy and administration,” Dr. Scotland noted. The Public Accounts Committee and the Integrity Commission Act are other measures that Guyana has implemented to address corruption in public office.
The anti-corruption seminar stemmed from a seven-month capacity building programme earlier this year between the United Kingdom Parliament and National Assembly of Guyana.