The international community will mark Anti-corruption Day on Thursday and in a statement to mark the observance, United States Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch said the US government is looking forward to seeing the Guyana government’s initiative to fight corruption while noting that government operations must be transparent so that citizens and the media can provide oversight and hold officials accountable.
Ambassador Lynch also noted that there should be procurement processes that comply with international anti-corruption standards, which will ensure a level playing field for investors.
“Private sector actors must also answer for any role that they play in corrupt practices, and when choosing private sector partners it is advisable to choose the reputable over the most convenient”, the US Ambassador noted.
She also said Governments and institutions around the globe cannot allow corruption to flourish, noting that constructing a legislative framework that deters corrupt practices and promotes transparency is an essential step in addressing corruption.
According to Ambassador Lynch, “enhancing the capabilities of criminal justice institutions to investigate and prosecute corruption is also crucial to exposing malign influence”.
The statement from the US Diplomat made reference to the efforts already made by Guyana to assist in the fight against corruption. It was pointed out that in 2018, the Guyana Public Service Commission was reconstituted after a 13-year hiatus.
In that same year, the Ambassador noted, the Government of Guyana also passed the Protected Disclosures (Whistleblower) Act, which seeks to protect persons making disclosures from retribution from others, including within the public service.
She said those kinds of legislative reforms are necessary parts of a successful plan to fight corruption.
Over the years in Guyana, there have always been concerns about corruption in government. The two main political parties have often accused each other of not doing enough to tackle corruption during their time in office.
The current government is currently under fire over the absence of the Public Procurement Commission. The life of the last Commission expired more than fourteen months ago and efforts are now being made by the Public Accounts Committee to get a new Commission in place to overlook government contracts and procurement.
As part of tomorrow’s observance to mark international anti-corruption day, US President Joe Biden will be hosting a virtual forum for democracy. President Irfaan Ali will join the forum from Guyana.