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GOPAC Australia Solidifies Anti-Corruption Agenda at Inaugural National Workshop

Under the leadership of GOPAC Australia Chair, John Hyde MLA, legislators from the states of Western Australia and Victoria met in August for an inaugural working meeting to advance anti-corruption efforts across Australia.

As part of a new national chapter plan of action, GOPAC Australia resolved to make a formal presentation at an upcoming conference of Australian anti-corruption bodies, and to host a workshop on parliamentary oversight as a conference companion event. The national chapter also intends to hold anti-corruption education sessions alongside training offered by state parliaments to new legislators.

The working meeting also enabled participants to study anti-corruption commissions in different Australian jurisdictions. In particular,

legislators from Western Australia shared their experiences of their state anti-corruption commission, to assist legislators attempting to create an anti-corruption commission of their own in Victoria. Two researchers for the Western Australia commission supported the discussion by providing significant insights into their commission’s processes.

The GOPAC New Zealand Chair, Charles Chauvel MP, also attended the working meeting, and he will host a similar GOPAC workshop in his country.

GOPAC New Zealand agreed to play a leadership role in fostering the development of GOPAC national chapters across Polynesia, while GOPAC Australia agreed to do likewise across Melanesia.

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Knowledge is Power in the Fight Against Corruption

Lead by Senator Ricardo Garcia Cervantes, Chair of GOPAC America Latina y el Caribe and GOPAC Mexico, legislators from Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean gathered in the Senate of Mexico to study the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) and other international instruments that enable legislators to hold governments to account.

The participants studied the UNCAC, the Organization of American States (OAS) Inter-American Convention Against Corruption, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions. Pres-

senters included Sen. Garcias Cervantes, Alfredo Jaime Esparza, president of the Committee of Experts on the Review Mechanism for the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption (MESICIC) and Deputy Director of Research and Policy on Transparency of the Public Service Secretariat, and Eduardo Bohórquez, Director of Transparencia Mexicana, the Mexican arm of Transparency International.

These GOPAC workshops help keep Parliamentarians abreast of developments in international law, and engaged with the global instruments in the fight against corruption.

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Parliamentarians in Lebanon Make Successful First Strides in National Fight Against Corruption

Our National Chapter in Lebanon, Lebanese Parliamentarians Against Corruption (LebPAC), has been working to strengthen its network of legislators, to enhance transparency and accountability, and to strengthen the rule of law. Their approach has resulted in the drafting and tabling of two critical bills in the Parliament of Lebanon, on access to information and on whistleblower protection. For two years, LebPAC, as part of the National Network for the Right of Access to Information, hosted a group of legal and policy experts tasked with drafting the bills. The group presented Parliament with the Access to Information bill on 9 April 2009 and the Whistleblower Protection bill on 24 June 2010.

LebPAC and the National Network for the Right of Access to Information are devoted to raising awareness of these issues and continuing to lobby stakeholders for adoption of the two laws. They remain dedicated to ensuring citizens have the ability to claim their right to information and to protection when reporting corruption.

LebPAC, the Lebanese Transparency Association, the Association pour la Défense des Droits et des Libertés and the American Bar Association founded the National Network for Rights of Access to Information in April 2008. The Network aims to enhance transparency and accountability, and to strengthen the rule of law and civic participation in Lebanon.

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Congratulation to GOPAC Timor-Leste Members on Success in Recent Federal Election

GOPAC congratulates four of our members in Timor-Leste for their victories in the country’s recent federal elections, and their subsequent appointments to positions of responsibility in the national Parliament.

Mr. Vincete da Silva Guterres, Member of the Board of Directors of GOPAC Timor-Leste, is now Speaker of the National Parliament. Mr. Aderito Hugo da Costa, Secretary of the Executive Committee of GOPAC Timor Leste,

is now Deputy Speaker of the National Parliament. Mrs. Maria Fernanda Lay is now Secretary of Speaker. Mrs. Terezinha Viegas is now Secretary of State for Parliamentary Affairs.

GOPAC is delighted by the leadership role being played by these anti-corruption advocates in Timor-Leste’s Parliament.

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Upcoming Events

3-6 September 2012:
Study Group

GOPAC, in collaboration with the World Bank Institute, will hold a Study Group on congressional oversight in presidential systems, in Brussels, Belgium, on 3-6 September 2012. The Study Group will bring together GOPAC members and other internationally-respected subject matter experts from across the world. Their research will strengthen GOPAC’s resources for Parliamentarians, including our handbooks on congressional and parliamentary oversight.

September 2012:
Outreach by GOPAC Chair

Our Chair, Dr. Naser Al Sane, will speak at a conference in Doha, Qatar on the subject of the Arab Spring, in early September; he will address a range of political parties and actors involved in the movement for freedom in the Arab states. Dr. Naser will also speak at a conference in Amman, Jordan organised by the Jordanian government, on the fight against corruption; he will be part of a panel addressing the role of parliamentarians in upholding integrity in government.

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GOPAC Collaborates with Chile on Parliamentary Ethics and Conduct

This past June, the Senate of Chile’s Ethics and Transparency Committee invited representatives from GOPAC to collaborate on their workshop on Parliamentary Ethics and Conduct. GOPAC was part of a multinational discussion, including legislators from Chile, Argentina, El Salvador, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Mexico.

GOPAC CEO John Williams introduced participants to GOPAC’s Handbook on Parliamentary Ethics and Conduct: A guide for

parliamentarians. He was joined at the event by GOPAC Americá Latina y el Caribe Chair, Senator Ricardo Garcia Cervantes, GOPAC Americá Latina y el Caribe Vice-Chair, Fernando Pérez Noriega, and GOPAC member from Colombia, Senator Juan Manuel Galán.

The workshop was an important step in creating a GOPAC National Chapter in Chile, and bringing Chilean legislators into GOPAC’s worldwide fight for transparency and good governance.

Copyright © 2012 Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC), All rights reserved.
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