Peru government announces creation of anti-corruption commission

Peru’s government announced the creation of an anti-corruption commission on Tuesday that will design strategies and policies aimed at promoting ethics, transparency and anti-corruption in the country’s civil service and among private citizens.

The High Level Commission for Anti-Corruption will be lead by the president of Peru’s judicial system, Javier Villa, state news agency Andina reported.

“The fight against corruption plays an important role on the side of governance and the consolidation of a democratic constitutional state,” said Villa. “The collection of honorable people is not enough. It is necessary for the State as a whole to be honorable, to comply with its commitments.”

The commission will include the presidents of the constitutional tribunal, the national council of the magistracy, and the presidential Cabinet. It will also include Peru’s attorney general, the national ombudsman, the mayor of Lima, the minister of justice, the coordinator of the national assembly of regional governments, the president of the national confederation of private business institutions, or Confiep, and the executive director of the national council for public ethics, or Proética.

“This initiative will help position ethics and transparency as regular legitimate exercises in the country’s public service,” Cabinet Chief Javier Velásquez told Andina. “It will organize not only the civil servants, but also citizens that are part of a larger fight against corruption.”

Velásquez said the anti-corruption commission is not meant to replace the now debunct National Anti-corruption Office, or ONA, which was disbanded in 2008 only 10 months after it was formed by President Alan García’s administration. The ONA’s duties were assumed by the Office of the Comptroller General.

“We aren’t naming an anti-corruption office or czar that is going to replace the comptroller general or other autonomous bodies,” said Velásquez. “This commission will not initiate investigations… what it will do is work with institutions to design medium and long term policies.”

In October 2009, Velásquez told Congress that 11,876 public servants had been accused of corruption-related charges since 2002. More than 1,000 public servants were found guilty, 289 were innocent and 444 cases annulled. Almost 7,800 cases were related to embezzlement, and 2,967 were due to misappropriation.

The most notorious corruption case last year was an oil concession kickback scandal known as “petrogate.” The discovery of backroom dealings between the president of Petroperu and private entrepreneurs to grant oil exploration concessions forced a major Cabinet shuffle and the resignation of then cabinet chief, Jorge del Castillo. Two major players were arrested.

Transparency International’s 2009 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), released in Berlin last November, gave Peru a score of 3.7, in a countries rating that ranges between 0, perceived to be highly corrupt, and 10 for those perceived to be the least corrupt.

Peru fared better than some of its neighbours –Argentina scored 2.9, Bolivia 2.7, and Ecuador 2.2—but ranked the same as Brazil and Colombia.

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One Comment

  1. Rafael Delgado says:

    Will this Anti-corruption team ever reach a decision on a case? Positively not. It is composed mostly by politicians instead of independent technicians. In other words is the typical political solution to a problem by creating a “committee”. Too bad

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