AG calls on CFATF to ensure assessors are continuously trained, objective
– highlights ramifications of adverse assessment
Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall has called on the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) to ensure that assessors are continuously trained to improve their capabilities so that they can be even more objective and clinical in their assessments.
Nandlall is currently leading Guyana’s delegation to the 57th Plenary and Working Group Meetings of the CFATF until today, Friday, December 1, 2023, in Aruba.
In his address to the Plenary on Wednesday, the Attorney General recognised the excellent work that CFATF has done over the years and acknowledged the efforts of the assessors in their Mutual Evaluations.
However, he highlighted the consequences on populations as a result of adverse assessments or in cases where assessors are not objective in their evaluations.
“The Mutual Evaluation Peer Assessment of a nation’s financial sector for [Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism] AML/CFT compliance by the requisite international standards is an exercise of fundamental importance. An adverse assessment can have pernicious consequences and far-reaching ramifications for a country’s financial sector, and economic welfare, and can affect the lives and livelihoods of an entire population. It is, therefore, imperative that these assessors appreciate the magnitude of their responsibility and discharge them with diligence and objectivity,” the Attorney General outlined.
He expressed the hope that his observations are interpreted in the spirit in which they were made. That is to say, with the hope and expectation that it would result in a stronger and more effective regional AML/CFT monitoring framework.
Guyana’s delegation includes senior representatives from the Bank of Guyana; Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU); Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA); Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU); Guyana Gold Board; Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), and Guyana Securities Council.
The CFATF Plenary and Working Group meetings are critical to the improvement and success of jurisdictions in meeting their international AML/CFT obligations, which follow the recommendations of the global oversight body, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
At these meetings, countries who are in the assessment process get the opportunity to discuss key issues identified in their Draft Mutual Evaluation Report; countries that have already been assessed under the fourth-round process provide updates on progress made since their evaluation; and delegates are provided updates on outcomes for the FATF various meetings and on new and emerging money laundering threats in the Region.
With the Mutual Evaluation of Guyana by the CFATF recently taking place during September 3-September 16, 2023, this nation will be expected to defend its position at the CFATF 58th Plenary in Trinidad and Tobago in May-June 2024.
Accordingly, attendance at this CFATF Plenary provides a critical opportunity for Guyanese authorities to assess similar items about their assessment, and adequately defend Guyana’s position.