On July 1, the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic of Ecuador will have served one year as Chair of the Working Group Specialized in the Fight against Transnational Corruption (GTCT) of the Latin American and Caribbean Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (OLACEFS). Significant progress was made during this period, thanks to the support of the 14 full members and 3 associate members (see list).
It highlights the signing of the Declaration of San Salvador on the Fight against Transnational Corruption, on October 17, 2019, in the framework of the XXIX General Assembly of the OLACEFS. This instrument recognizes various forms of regional cooperation to address corruption. For example, it urges the signing of inter-agency agreements, encourages the exchange of information and advice for the proper management of public resources, and encourages the implementation of training. In addition, it represents an enabling tool for the realization of the products agreed on in the Group’s Terms of Reference.
On the other hand, engagement with stakeholders is critical in achieving the objectives of the Working Group. In the area of the fight against corruption, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is a central ally, for which the Chair of the AWG-LCA contacted the delegations of Ecuador and Colombia to agree on a work agenda that supports the development of technical papers and capacity building.
In this regard, on June 17, 2020, UNODC provided three online courses to the OLACEFS community, available on its Global E-Learning platform. The launch of this training will take place on July 1 in commemoration of the GTCT management year. Meanwhile, the INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI) has relinquished the information for the ISSAI 130 Course to be held in the region; a course that is scheduled for the end of the third quarter of 2020.
In the environmental field, with the support of the Brazilian office of the German Cooperation Agency, a consultancy is being carried out to recognize the state of the illicit trafficking of wildlife in the region and opportunities to improve environmental control. This consultancy has made it possible to identify the main actors involved in the control of species trafficking, sustainable trade initiatives, the approach of the SAI in environmental matters, and finally an approximation to the routes and main species illegally traded in Latin America and the Caribbean. The dissemination of results will take place through a webinar, planned for August of this year.
The first meeting was also held with the technical liaison of the Special Technical Commission for the Environment to discuss other cooperative activities related to environmental crime.
This year, proposals were socialized that advance the products foreseen in the Working Group’s planning. These include the first draft of the Good Practices Manual, which is an effort by the supreme audit institutions of Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico and Peru; as well as the UNODC, Colombia Office. In addition, focused on ensuring the quality of the manual, the Italian Court of Audit will act as external reviewer.
The proposal for sources of information to generate a guide and software to share relevant data among control agencies related to the prevention, detection and fight against corruption was also disseminated. It should be noted that the Commission on Information and Communications Technologies (CTIC) and the SAI of Chile will contribute to the development of these products.
The call will soon be sent to the SAIs of OLACEFS to participate in a coordinated audit of the economic aid programs aimed at vulnerable sectors, which the governments have promoted within the framework of COVID-19. This is considering that institutions such as the OECD and the UNODC point to potential irregularities in the implementation of such measures.
Over this month, news will be published to further publicize the work of the GTCT.