Eduardo Vega airs his views on transparency (or the lack of it)

19 March 2017

When public officials retire from positions of authority they give interviews which provide precious clues as to how systems work, or rather do not. In an interview with La República last week, Eduardo Vega gave insights into the deficiencies in the present system of transparency in Peru.

Vega was for a lengthy time the acting Ombudsman (Defensor del Pueblo). Shortly after Pedro Pablo Kuczynski took office, Vega was made president of the Integrity Commission. He now presides over the ethics and development programme at the Universidad Ruiz de Montoya.

Among the recommendations proffered by the commission to the government on increasing transparency in public life, described by Vega as “central” were the sworn declaration of interests for senior public officials and the creation of a National Transparency Authority. Neither have progressed much, he says.

The declaration of interests remains voluntary. Although cabinet members have provided information on their business interests “there is no norm that regulates [this] and obliges public officials”. Vega says that the executive should have used the delegated powers given to it by Congress to provide a norm to make this obligatory. “Currently this is voluntary and if [an official] does not provide [a declaration] nothing happens.

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    Over the past century Peru has suffered a series of autocratic governments and a civil war in which nearly 70,000 people died. Many of the country's ongoing political and social problems are a legacy of its somewhat turbulent past. 

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    Peru’s indigenous and peasant communities continue to suffer political marginalisation and discrimination. Insufficient consultation with such groups over political and developmental decisions has fostered feelings of disenfranchisement and led to elevated levels of social conflict.

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    Two important reports on the impacts of climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC ) Special Report on Emissions Scenarios and the Stern Review, place Peru as one of the countries that will be most affected by the effects of climate change.

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