With the support of the Organization of Latin American and Caribbean Supreme Audit Institutions (OLACEFS) and the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic of Ecuador, a workshop on the Self-Assessment of Integrity, “SAINT” was held from March 7 to 8, 2018, in Ecuador’s Ministry of Justice, Human Rights and Worship.
To carry out this important activity, the collaboration of moderators from the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic of Chile was requested, given that the institution has extensive experience in facilitating SAINT workshops in public institutions in Chile. The workshop was headed by Pablo Dequero, an investigator from the Order and Security Unit of the oversight department, and Braulio Ortiz Navarro, an analyst from the Comptroller General’s cabinet.
In a preliminary phase the processes to be evaluated were defined and participants were chosen. This was facilitated with the assistance of technical liaison María Belén Ayala, the General Administrative and Financial Coordinator of Ecuador’s Ministry of Justice, Human Rights and Worship. Ms. Ayala said the invitation of the State Comptroller’s Office to carry out the Workshop was well received by authorities as it was important to find out where improvements could be made, controls and procedures established and corruption prevented.
During the workshop the inherent vulnerabilities of administrating justice and social rehabilitation were identified, as well as other support and governing processes. Later participants identified the factors that exacerbate vulnerability in comparison with the oversight systems already in place in the ministry. Finally, using focus group methodology, public servants presented recommendations to mitigate potential failures of integrity.
Mr. Braulio Ortiz considered that officials themselves should suggest answers to integrity dilemmas in their jobs. Mr. Pablo Dequero meanwhile considered the commitment of senior management to be key to implementing recommendations generated by participants.
On Friday, March 9, 2018, the moderators presented the results report to the Deputy Minister of Social Rehabilitation, Dr. Liliana Guzmán Ochoa, who thanked the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic of Ecuador and the representatives of Chile’s SAI for the inter-institutional efforts to improve integrity in the public sector.
It should be noted that moderators from the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic of Ecuador participated as observers with a view to channeling knowledge, learning from this first experience of implementing a SAINT workshop and implementing the tool in other public entities in Ecuador in the future.
Regional Implementation of SAINT Workshops
It is important to point out that the SAINT Workshops are promoted by the OLACEFS Technical Commission on Good Governance Practices and are a fundamental pillar of its work program.