Paraguay, Brazil, Germany; online
The current context of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought many challenges to the efficient management of public resources in Paraguay. Over the past few months, the global crisis has demonstrated the growing need to move from a purely reactive approach to combating corrupt practices to a preventive approach, preferably based on values and emphasising ethical decision-making when doing business within an organisation.
In turn, taking into account that acts of corruption are committed not only in public institutions, but also in private companies, it is necessary to make joint efforts in order to promote their prevention. In this sense, the strengthening of relations between the public and private sectors, especially in terms of public procurement, would contribute to one of the great current challenges regarding the creation of mechanisms that allow for a more transparent public procurement process in accordance with the minimum standards required by international anti-corruption organisations.
Based on the premise that integrity is the most sustainable way of doing business, the Germany-Brazil-Paraguay Triangular Cooperation Project was born as an efficient response to overcome the times of crisis in Paraguay. The role of international technical cooperation in this context is to strengthen the business integrity of organisations in both the public and private sectors, guaranteeing them long-term sustainable growth and enabling their expansion and continuous improvement.
Customers, employees, investors, as well as the general public, prefer to operate with companies that foster a culture of integrity at the organisational level. In this context, trilateral cooperation aims to increase responsiveness within the framework of the transparency, integrity and anti-corruption policies in force in the country, contributing to a successful and purposeful teamwork in public-private relations.
It should be noted that Paraguay's legal system does not yet provide for the criminal liability of legal persons. Furthermore, according to a consultancy carried out in the framework of the trilateral project, it was concluded that there are currently very few incentives for organisations in the country to implement integrity programmes on a voluntary basis.
Therefore, the first line of action foreseen in the trilateral project proposes an efficient response to this situation in the implementation of a system of incentives based on integrity standards in public and private sector companies, making emphasis on companies that supply materials and services to the Paraguayan State to address the effects of the pandemic and economic reactivation. The second line of action of the project proposes the introduction of a digital diagnostic application in the public sector to strengthen the monitoring and evaluation process on the knowledge and application of transparency, integrity and anti-corruption tools in force in the country.
In order to achieve the expected results, each of the actors involved in the project makes numerous contributions of immeasurable value. As a beneficiary partner, Paraguay, through the National Anti-Corruption Secretariat (SENAC) and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MIC), contributes to the project through the members of its teams, who are trained in ethics and integrity issues; the precise identification of the application of the project tools; and the institutional means of communication.
Also, Brazil supports the project through two institutions: the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MRE), which is responsible for coordinating the Brazilian contribution; and the Office of the Comptroller General of the Union (CGU). This institution specializes in the technicians from the Integrity Promotion Directorate of the Pro-Ethics Programme management, who provide technical advice; the organisation of workshops and technical visits; and the development of training and technical implementation activities.
In turn, the German contribution is provided by the German Cooperation for Sustainable Development through the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, which will contribute in the areas of expert advice and consultancy, adapted application of the tools and methodology developed by the Alliance for Integrity initiative, permanent follow-up for project management and monitoring and articulation between local actors, realisation and facilitation of exchange events.
In conclusion, the objectives of the Germany-Brazil-Paraguay triangular cooperation project contribute enormously to Paraguayan organisations, giving them the opportunity to implement an integrity programme that is appropriate and customised to their current needs, as well as to the environment in which they operate, bearing in mind that if effectively implemented, it brings numerous benefits: it creates a good reputation; it helps to conserve the company's financial resources; it attracts better human talent; it is a great competitive advantage for the company and, above all, it guarantees long-term sustainable and sustainable growth for the organisations.