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News Flash - 6 January 2006

GRECO, the Council of Europeís anti-corruption monitoring mechanism, visits the USA

The Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) carried out a visit to the United States of America from 12 to 16 December 2005. It was GRECOís second visit to this country, which is the Groupís only non-European member.

The visit covered the federal level as well as the State and the City of New York. Meetings took place in Washington DC and in New York City. GRECOís evaluation team (Mr Silvio Camilleri, Malta, Mr Jacek GARSTKA, Poland, Mr Richard JARVIS, United Kingdom, and Mr Pierre-Christian SOCCOJA, France) met with 23 expert panels (representing a total of some 60 officials and representatives of civil society) to discuss a wide range of topics (e.g. liability of legal persons; freezing, seizing, confiscation of corruption proceeds; freedom of information; investigations and oversight of public administration).  The team was assisted by GRECOís Executive Secretary and another member of the Secretariat.

Among the numerous agencies/services met during the visit were: U.S. Department of State, Department of Justice, Department of the Treasury, Securities and Exchange Commission, National Association of Attorneys General, U.S. Office of Government Ethics, American Bar Association, NY City Department of Investigation, NY State Ethics Commission, etc.

The Evaluation team will prepare a draft evaluation report for consideration by GRECO in the second half of 2006.

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GRECO is an enlarged partial agreement established in 1999 within the Council of Europe and currently comprises 40 member States (www.greco.coe.int).