The Organization of American States (OAS) has announced that Belize is among six Caribbean countries picked for site visits this April by the OAS’s Anticorruption Mechanism within the context of its fourth round of review, to conclude in March 2015.

The other countries on the itinerary are Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname.

“The process of on-site visits to the six Caribbean countries, which are carried out with their consent, began last December, when the governments of these nations sent their replies to the questionnaire sent by MESICIC (Mechanism for Follow-Up on the Implementation of Inter-American Convention against Corruption) delegates as a prior step to the visit of the delegations,” the OAS said.

It added that each subgroup is composed of representatives of two member countries, with the support of officials from the OAS Department of Legal Cooperation.

Visits to these six countries will bring the total countries visited for on-site reviews up to 25 countries.

According to the OAS, five more countries – Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Saint Kitts and Nevis, the United States and Venezuela – will be added for similar visits between September 22 and October 17, 2014.

The OAS notes that MESICIC is composed by 31 OAS member states. Belize became a state party to the MESICIC on June 9, 2003.

Belize is also a state party to the Inter-American Convention against Corruption. According to OAS data, Belize signed it on June 5, 2001, ratified it on August 2, 2002, and deposited the signed instrument on September 6, 2002.

One of the recommendations coming out of the process is that, “Belize should consider strengthening the implementation of the provisions on conflicts of interest, and ensure that the laws on this matter are applicable to all public officials and employees, so as to permit the practical and effective application of a public ethics system.”

Amandala