In the context of the Americas Summit, the undersigning organizations provide the following statement in advance of the next Heads of State declaration.
We understand the Americas is facing a complex situation where the constant emergence of corruption incidents damaged severely our democracies. There are no quick fixes or magic solutions for this issue. We are organizations working and advocating for transparency, open government,civic tech, open contracting, freedom of expression , gender ender equality, and the fulfilment of human rights in our region. From this position, we will contribute to this agenda by:
Welcoming the focus of this Summit in the combat against corruption. The recent international and regional scandals show the need to keep supporting independent judiciaries and a free press, so corruption incidents are thoroughly investigated and dealt with. This efforts should proceed in a context of respect for freedom of expression and access to public information.
Continuing our work to improve right to information regimes, adapting them to the XXIst century. We will also advocate for establishing and improving open data policies at a national and local level. We are committed to work in all the political, social and technical forums we participate to advance this agenda. Despite having relatively good laws and a robust open data and civic tech community, organizations and individuals working in the Americas face obstacles and risks when working with open data. We call on our governments to promote and escale these initiatives, as well as to guarantee the safety of the organizations carrying forward these initiatives. We also need to foster the open data infrastructure to advance our work.the We will keep pushing for institutional openness on every branch of power as a mean to obtain better public policies in all realms and sectors. Open governments, open parliaments and open justice must contribute to reflect the plurality of our societies.
Continuing our support to actions devoted to opening budgets and fiscal policies, including transparency in the budget cycle as well as the design, production and provision of public goods and services, including planning, evaluation and implementation of public investment projects, funds and trust funds, public private partnerships and any commitment with potential contingent liability implications, devoting special attention to considering and disclosing fiscal risks.
Continuing our work on open public procurement. A significant part of the current corruption scandals are linked to the absence of adequate monitoring of public procurement. We need to build a technical and social infrastructure that allows for the adequate monitoring of our public procurement. Open contracting is a proven and feasible solution to this problem implemented by leading countries in the region. We also need to turn our procurement processes more efficient, enabling small and medium enterprises to participate in them, increasing the pool of providers and therefore reducing the risk of capture and corruption in procurement processes.
Continuing our work fighting against conflict of interest in the public and private sector, focusing on the release of relevant data on who hold public offices and fostering social control.
Enabling women participation in decision making processes as way to contribute to equality. We particularly believe that long term solutions to corruption must include public participation and the inclusiveness of groups and sectors that are usually excluded and deprived of voice and influence in decision making processes and the mechanisms of checking decisions and actions that affect them. We will keep defending human rights, noting that corruption have a direct and indirect negative effect in securing them, particularly among the most vulnerable social groups in the Americas.
Generating relevant evidence to develop sustainable and sound policies in this field.
We expect the Summit declaration consider the points we made. Crucially, we hope our countries commit to work in the interamerican space on specific solutions to these problems, beyond good will words. Such words are welcomed, but are now clearly insufficient. Our organizations will keep working for a transparent, open and fair Latin America.