This article first appeared in Diario Digital on May 14, 2021.
The Dominican Alliance Against Corruption, ADOCCO, says that it was a mistake of the deputies to typify corruption as an infraction, since it is a concert of infractions which should be established as criminal offenses.
In order to correct the mistake, the entity presented proposals in the referred legislative chamber on the crimes of corruption to be included in the code. This contains the sanction that must be applied for each of the infractions, typifying all the conducts of corruption foreseen in the conception given by the IACC and the Dominican Constitution.
According to the proposal, serious and very serious penalties should be applied for the following crimes: concussion, bribery, influence peddling, embezzlement, bribery, embezzlement, illicit enrichment, abuse of authority, among others.
ADOCCO says it was a mistake of the deputies to typify corruption as an infraction, being a concert of infractions
The Dominican Alliance Against Corruption, ADOCCO, declared that the Chamber of Deputies made a mistake by typifying corruption as a crime, when it constitutes a concert of infractions, to which the penal type must be established, according to the manifestation of the act to the detriment of the State, from which the corresponding sanctions will be established, to the person or persons responsible for the commission of the act of corruption.
The Inter-American Convention Against Corruption of the Organization of American States, OAS, defines corruption not as a crime, but as the set of several acts or conducts that affect the public administration and that have as a consequence, damages to democracy; corruption is manifested in different ways, such as: The requirement or acceptance, directly or indirectly, by a public official or a person exercising public functions, of any object of pecuniary value or other benefits such as gifts, favors, promises or advantages for himself or for another person or entity in exchange for the performance or omission of any act in the exercise of his public functions.
Julio Cesar De la Rosa Tiburcio, president of the entity, stated before the commission of the Chamber of Deputies, “For the Constitution, corruption is a set of conducts exercised by one of the forms that it describes in its article 146 which proscribes corruption; which reads: All forms of corruption in the organs of the State are condemned. Consequently: 1) Any person who steals public funds or who, taking advantage of his positions within the organs and agencies of the State, its dependencies or autonomous institutions, obtains economic benefits for himself or for third parties, shall be punished with the penalties determined by law; 2) Likewise, any person who provides advantages to his associates, relatives, relatives, friends or relatives shall also be punished”.
To correct the error, the sanction for each of the infractions should be established, typifying all the conducts of corruption foreseen in the conception given by the IACC and the Dominican Constitution, with serious and very serious penalties for: extortion, bribery, influence peddling, embezzlement, bribery, embezzlement, illicit enrichment, abuse of authority, among others, we make the following suggestions: that in Article 303. – The term “Corruption” should be substituted and be used as the wording of the chapter reserved for all acts against the public thing and the sanctioning content should be distributed for the following infractions contained in the project and add the following infractions or penal type, to strengthen in that matter the longed for code, with the following inclusion:
In Article 318 of the project.- Peculation. Add and/or define:
- Peculation by subtraction (Whoever appropriates public property).
- Peculation by use (Whoever takes advantage of the condition of administrator or supervisor of public property, vehicles, machinery and any other).
- Culpable peculation (Whoever is in charge of the administration of an asset, allows a third party to make use of it).
- Destruction of records or databases.
- Use of privileged information.
- Failure to timely comply with the duty to file a sworn statement of assets.
- Appointment of personnel contrary to administrative provisions.
- Illicit enrichment of individuals (Who after leaving office, exhibits an unusual growth of their assets).
- Front man and / or lends name.
- Fraud against the public thing.
Regarding this news, as BH Compliance team, we believe that in the fight against corruption, states must align on the definition of corruption as a crime. International standards and conventions have been recommending for years the criminalization of public and private corruption offenses and the establishment of sanctions in this regard.