The Americas and Caribbean region discusses on ethics, transparency and integrity

05 October 2021

Guatemala’s Tax and Customs Service (Servicio de Aduana Tributaria, SAT), WCO pro-tempore regional Vice President for the Americas and Caribbean, organized on September 30th a workshop on ethics, transparency and integrity. Experts from the WCO Anti-Corruption & Integrity Promotion (A-CIP) Programme provided insights to WCO tools and instruments related to the fight against corruption. The regional Vice-Chair and Director General of SAT, Mr. Werner Ovalle, gave opening remarks, stressing the importance of integrity in Customs and emphasized on numerous occasions that the efficiency of Customs depends greatly of people and processes’ ethics and transparency.

Attended by 53 Customs officials from Central America and Panama, the workshop kicked-off with a brief conceptual presentation on ethics, followed by an interactive break-out discussion about personal and corporate values. The final session addressed the transformational leadership in Customs and how this theory inspires people to perform beyond their perceived capabilities. The innovative and dynamic approach generated excellent discussion amongst the participants and speakers.

The WCO Revised Arusha Declaration (2003) was highlighted as the central outline for an effective approach to promote good governance and integrity in Customs. Other important tools were presented such as: the recently enhanced Integrity Development Guide (IDG), the Model of the Code of Ethics and Conduct, the Corruption Risk Mapping and the Transparency and Predictability Guidelines.

Inspired by the success of the workshop, SAT Guatemala, is planning a new event to celebrate the International Anti-Corruption Day (December 9th).  The WCO A-CIP Programme will continue to support regional integrity initiatives and is conducting activities with eight partner countries in the region, including Guatemala thanks to funding from Canada.

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