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IDB approves $14 million to strengthen Colombia’s public sector oversight agency

The Inter-American Development Bank announced today the approval of a $14 million loan to strengthen the judicial office in charge of oversight and discipline of public agencies.

The resources will assist the Procuraduría General de la Nación to improve its preventive measures, disciplinary capabilities, management systems, strategic planning, information technology, organizational structure, human resources deployment, community participation and coordination with other agencies.

The Procuraduría General de la Nación is responsible for overseeing the conduct of public officials and can discipline persons found guilty of irregularities and crimes with fines, imprisonment, permanent dismissal and other sanctions. The agency investigates and sanctions persons for the misuse of public resources, violation of human rights, and environmental transgressions, among other infractions.

The program completes an IDB financing cycle of strengthening Colombian agencies in charge of law enforcement. Previous loans strengthened the Controlaría General de la República, which exercises fiscal control over use of the government’s financial resources, and the Fiscalía General de la Nación, the national prosecutor’s office.

Among the benefits of the new program will be a more effective agency to enforce ethics and effectiveness in government and to prevent corruption. The agency will have greater clarity in its goals, benchmarks, mission and standards, and its case backlog will be drastically reduced.

The program reflects the IDB’s strategy for Colombia of promoting modernization of the state. It will result in greater efficiency of public spending, more mechanisms for citizens’ involvement in oversight, a reduction in the rate of impunity in the civil service and the promotion of integrity and ethics.

The IDB loan is for a 20-year term, with a 4 and ½ year grace period, at the variable annual interest rate, now 5.8 percent. Local counterpart funds total $6 million.

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