On November 28, President Federico Franco of Paraguay signed a decree in support of creating the National Anti - Corruption Secretariat that will enforce a more rigid code of ethics for all public service employees. The newly established secretariat has as its primary objective to assure the implementation and management of ethical values in government offices, a relatively difficult task to fully implement in the Paraguayan society, considering that corruption and impunity are the two persisting hurdles that delay economic progress in Paraguayan cities and rural villages.
The Anti-corruption Secretariat will be working closely with the Ministry of Public Service and other government entities to further improve the practice of the code of ethics by public employees in government offices. Some of the primary items are: the rule of law, efficiency and transparency of every public official, in addition to the ethical rules that every agency or government entity has adopted to implement in order to establish an environment with a solid code of ethics.
The Paraguayan Code of Ethics was prepared in collaboration with the European Community, which begun funding in 2007 a modernization program for the Public Administration in Asuncion that is expected to improve the Administration’s role and functions under the supervision of the President’s cabinet.
In the signing ceremony there were also Interior Minister Carmelo Caballero, Minister of Public Service Nuria Isnardi, and Minister of Social Provision Victor Rivarola.
Paraguay has suffered enormously from the endemic presence of corruption in almost every government office in the last two decades of democratic governments running the country. The United States has constantly encouraged the fight against corruption, strengthening of democracy, cracking down on drug trafficking and anti-smuggling initiatives. The strategic partnership between the United States and Paraguay has been instrumental in securing two Millennium Challenge Corporation Funds (in 2006 and 2009) for Paraguay, thereby adding more than $60 million to combat corruption and strengthen the rule of law.
Spero analyst Peter M. Tase writes on Latin American political and trade issues.