In 1996, the OAS member countries adopted the **Inter-American Convention Against Corruption *(IACAC)***, the first Anti-Corruption treaty in the world. Since then, a process has been established to measure how countries that have ratified the treaty are complying with its key provisions. The goal is to strengthen cooperation against corruption in the hemisphere.
The Convention specifically includes in its rationale the recognition of the international importance of corruption and the need for an instrument to promote and facilitate inter-country cooperation to combat it. Consequently, with that motivation, it set forth two goals:
• First, to promote and strengthen the development by each of the States Parties, of the mechanisms needed to prevent, detect, punish, and eradicate corruption.
• Second, to promote, facilitate, and regulate cooperation among the States Parties to ensure the effectiveness of measures and actions to prevent, detect, punish, and eradicate corruption in the performance of public functions and acts of corruption specifically related to such performance.
The Bahamas ratified the IACAC on March 9, 2000 and deposited the instrument of ratification on March 14, 2000. In addition, The Bahamas signed the Declaration on the Mechanism for Follow-up on the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption on June 4, 2001 and is a member of the **Committee of Experts of the Follow-up Mechanisms for the Implementation of the Inter American Convention against Corruption *(MESICIC)***.
This month, the final report on the implementation in The Bahamas of the Convention provisions selected for review in the Second Round, and on follow-up to the recommendations formulated in the First Round was presented at the 12th meeting of the Committee, held in Washington, D.C. It was adopted in the Plenary Session — in accordance with the provisions of Article 3(g) and 26 of the Committee’s Rules of Procedure and Other Provisions.
The Committee acknowledged the cooperation that it received from The Bahamas throughout the review process, and in particular from the Office of the Attorney General (OAG).
The OAG presented the report on The Bahamas’ response vis-à-vis compliance with the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption, and generally spoke to the strength of the country’s anti-corruption mechanisms. The report said The Bahamas has a comprehensive system of laws, regulations and Codes of Conduct to combat corruption. In addition to these laws, The Bahamas has signed and ratified the Organization of American States Corruption Convention. Furthermore, as a member of the Committee of Experts of the Follow-up Mechanisms for the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption it has committed to a system of peer review of its efforts in implementing the terms of the convention.
Officials noted that to date this country has “substantially implemented the convention and has enacted laws to prevent, detect and eradicate corruption.”
The Office of Legal Cooperation of the Organisation of American States (OAS) acts as the Technical Secretariat to matters relating to MESICIC.