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Nov 9, 2018

Chamber Responds to AG on UNCAC Implementation

Giacomo Sanchez

The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry has responded to Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte in respect of the UNCAC implementation process.  The business organization had pushed for the signing of the convention which was done on December ninth 2016.  For some time now, the B.C.C.I. has been agitating for the implementation.  The organization has been engaged in a series of correspondences over the mechanism and chronology of the Implementation Review Process with the country’s chief legal officer.  In a follow-up letter, the Chamber echoed its persistence on an added sense of importance to proceed with measures and lawmaking efforts to bolster existing anti-corruption institutions. These include the Financial Intelligence Unit, the Integrity Commission and the Public Accounts Committee. Likewise, the Chamber wants to insulate the judiciary and police department from ministerial or political influence. 

 

Giacomo Sanchez, Treasurer, B.C.C.I.

“The review has been concluded in July of this year by the reviewing states, they came and looked at and interviewed interest groups and had varying exchanges and so in terms of the nuts and bolts, what they’re doing is translation issues and all that, they’re packaging what you would call a country report and coming out of the country report is also an executive summary which typically is shared with the public.  And so, that is what we are sluggishly anticipating and waiting to see what is to come.  But just to go back to one of the points.  Yes, it’s a slow and gradual process, but that is not a substitute for us not doing anything in the interim because remember, this is just a mechanism to kind of foster and kinda prod us along.  But believe you me, the report itself will not tell us anything that we don’t already know, hence the reason why it is important that, because we’ve done our self-assessment and we know where the gaps are, we could be looking at low-hanging fruits from a legislative standpoint and start targeting changes that can be made relevant legislation such as the Integrity Commission, as one, the PAC which is the Public Accounts Committee, Finance and Audit Act, all those are important instruments that we already have on the table.”

 

On October twenty-ninth, the Attorney General openly excoriated the Chamber for its request to expedite the implementation process, followed by an equally terse letter a few days later.

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