Threshold Program celebrates achievements
The Paraguay Threshold Program closed its activities after two years of hard work from 12 institutions and the participation of the 3 branches of the Government of Paraguay. Many key results were highlighted during the event in Asunción. President of Praguay Fernando Lugo and Ambassador James Thessin participated in the event to celebrate results and look at the future.
"The Government of Paraguay, through its strong support to the Threshold Program had shown its strong commitment to improving the performance of its institutions and the transparency of its functions." expressed Ambasador Thessin during the event.
The Threshold Program II Phase 2 is an initiative of the government of Paraguay, withe financial support from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC in English) and was administered by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) .
Paraguay was the first country in the Western Hemisphere to access the Threshold Program.
The first phase of the program was developed between 2006 and 2009, and its initial successes allowed Paraguay to be selected for a second phase of the program (Threshold Program II) designed to build on progress made in the first stage.
Phase II of the program included six components, aimed at reducing corruption and impunity in Paraguay. The strategy followed to achieve this goal included a series of interventions, as summarized in component 1 (Public Ministry), Component 2 (Strengthening the Administrative Court, Internal Audit, Control and the Judicial Disciplinary Office), Component 3 (Strengthening Systems and Internal Control), part 4 (Strengthening of Customs Office), part 5 (Intellectual Property Rights), part 6 (Strengthening the National Police). As cross-cutting issue were incorporated a communication strategy for the participant institutions and the involvement of civil society.
The Program focused in providing technical assistance and training and promoting fundamental reforms in the areas of both prevention and law enforcement to move Paraguay to a high degree of compliance with the MCC indicators that will allow the country become a strong candidate for another program, the Compact.
Some of the progress and achievements included successful work in areas such as strengthening internal controls and control systems online at the Public Ministry, the landmark re-engineering of the Administrative Tribunal of the Supreme Court, which led to a new organizational structure, operational procedures to improve efficiency and transparency, strengthening the Disciplinary Office and the Office of Management Audit Judicial Supreme Court.
Advances in the area of implementation of the Standard Model of Internal Control (MECIP) in twelve Paraguayan public sector institutions, have included among others, the creation of committees for implementation and training of trainers to ensure sustainability and development model Code of Ethics among others.
Another success was the implementing a new system, SPIR, which will provide reports and analytical reports from the data of the Integrated Financial Control (SIAF) in the Ministry of Finance, the design and strengthening of the Claims Office at the Ministry of Health, Bureau of Customs and the Ministry of Interior for the National Police, in order that the general public and users of these services can submit their complaints, questions and suggestions.
A major effort was carried out with the Ministries of Industry and Commerce and Education and Culture, together with civil society organizations to train and educate teachers and students in schools located in different departments in the field of intellectual property rights.
We have developed a remarkable effort in communication throughout the program, to improve transparency and kept informed citizenship.
In summary, there were key advances and results from the Program, and there is an optimism with regard of the future. The priority is the sustainability, and with this purpose, many activities are already being implemented to maintain the application and viability of the reforms in the institutions. These reforms are essential if the opportunities for corruption are to be eliminated progressively, and to allow both the Government and the Judiciary to effectively handle any case of corruption. The commitment from the institutions will allow and secure that that the many people trained, the large amount of equipment purchased and the renovated physical facilities of various institutions will continue to be used for its intended purpose. Fighting corruption is an ongoing effort that should not end.
The closing Event tood place on April 25 in Asunción. Media and institutional links of the event below: