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Latino Daily News

Friday March 18, 2011

Colombia to Strengthen Its Attorney General Office and Judicial Transparency

The Inter-American Development Bank approved a $10 million loan to Colombia to improve public management transparency and increase regulatory compliance.

The loan will be used to strengthen the role of the Office of the Attorney General (PGN, after its Spanish initials). This project, based upon the pillars of prevention and oversight, is expected to make a significant contribution to Colombia’s efforts to make its institutions to comply with rules and improve the country’s transparency standards, which are regularly monitored by independent organizations.

This project is expected to help Colombia increase its Transparency International index to 4.0 by 2020 from 3.0 today. The country is also expected to reduce corruption levels as measured by the corruption indicator tracked by the World Bank to the 10-25 percentile from the 25-50 percentile today.

In the area of prevention, coordination mechanisms will be developed between the central level and 82 PGN bureaus throughout the country, while a public contract guide to support public works supervision efforts and a good-practices manual for government procurement will be issued.

Additionally, an integrated preventive information system that includes prevention indicators, risk management, business intelligence, and jurisprudence in the area of prevention will be implemented. Likewise, interoperability between the PGN’s internal information systems and those of other public institutions and oversight agencies will be promoted.

Furthermore, an ambitious training plan for 650 officials around the nation will be launched. This plan will include manuals, protocols, guides, and e-learning content and modules.

In the area of oversight, the project will provide mechanisms to measure public agencies’ regulatory compliance, strengthen lawfulness and ethical principles in the society at large, and help create the conditions for greater citizen engagement in the fight against corruption through an awareness campaign in the mass media.

To this end, the project will produce an index to gauge compliance with norms ruling the destination of general revenue-sharing system funds and royalties that will be implemented at six pilot subnational entities. The project will also support training on information collection; and pilot introduction of methodologies to measure lawfulness at two national public institutions.