U.N. Committee concerned over Guyana lack of institutional framework to combat corruption

United Nations Human Rights Committee UNHRC on Thursday released its findings on Guyana, expressing concerns over the nation’s institutional framework to combat corruption.
The report acknowledges Guyana’s adoption of laws and regulations to tackle corruption, including the establishment of a Special Organized Crime Unit S.O.C.U within the Guyana Police Force GPF However, it highlights lingering concerns regarding the effectiveness of the institutional setup to prevent and prosecute corruption, particularly within the police force and among high-level public officials. Specific concerns outlined in the report include instances where the Commissioner of Information failed to address public requests and the delayed enforcement of the Protected Disclosures and Witness Protection Act.
To address these issues, the Committee urges Guyana to intensify its efforts to promote good governance and combat corruption at all levels of government. This includes addressing the root causes of corruption as a priority, ensuring impartial investigation and prosecution of all corruption cases, enhancing the independence, transparency, and accountability of anti-corruption bodies, guaranteeing effective access to information held by relevant authorities, and expediting the implementation of measures to protect whistleblowers and witnesses. Additionally, the Committee calls for thorough investigations into allegations of corruption in the management of natural resources, particularly within the oil and gas sector highlighting the importance of transparency and accountability measures in this critical area.
Moreover, the Committee expressed concern over reports of corruption and lack of transparency in the management of natural resources, particularly within the oil and gas sector. It calls for thorough investigations into allegations of corruption in this sector and emphasises the importance of transparency and accountability measures. Last week, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, Gail Teixeira appeared before the UN Committee, where she was asked to answer several questions in relation to corruption in Guyana.
In response to the UN report, Minister Teixeira’s ministry in a statement on Thursday clarified that after the hybrid review from March 18 to 20, 2024, initially focused on the Third Periodic Report submitted to the UNHRC in 2021, the government submitted additional information within the 48-hour window post-review, as per the established methodology. The ministry said that despite timely submission, the Committee issued the Advanced Unedited Version of its Concluding Observations to Guyana on Wednesday, March 27, 2024, granting a mere 24-hour window for corrections and comments.
To this end, the ministry stated that surprisingly the Committee published the same version on March 28, 2024, without considering the substantive corrections provided by the State party, despite their timely submission. (Kaieteur News)…[+]