Posted: Thursday, December 9, 2021. 7:06 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: Retiring Auditor General Dorothy Bradley goes out a heroine to other countries, if not necessarily her native one in some quarters.
In a virtual ceremony on Wednesday she was named one of 12 U.S. Department of State Anticorruption Champions Award winners, recognizing her impactful work in advocating for transparency and accountability in Belize’s public sector.
Under her leadership as Auditor General, Bradley’s office exposed corrupt practices and illegalities in the sale of Belizean passports, visas, and granting of Belizean citizenship to foreign nationals. Her report on the findings of an audit conducted at the Ministry of Immigration provided evidence that resulted in the dismissal of a sitting Cabinet Minister and contributed to the Belizean government signing the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) in December 2016.
In accepting, Bradley said the award “was a symbol of hope for persons and institutions committed to change the solid landscape of global corruption. Together, we can move mountains, but it requires removing one pebble at a time.”
Bradley observed that corruption pervades society, unjustly enriching its beneficiaries, and it is critical that both governments and citizens contribute to end it.
“The orchestrated robbery of the poor,” as Bradley termed it, occurs both within and across nations, and intergovernmental cooperation is needed to defeat it, though efforts have been somewhat impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The U.S. Department of State launched the Anticorruption Champions Award to honor individuals who have demonstrated leadership, courage, and impact in preventing, exposing, and combating corruption. The award comes ahead of International Anticorruption Day and recognizes global anticorruption champions in government, business, and civil society.
U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in his remarks underscored, “Often, when speaking of massive, complex challenges like corruption, we lose sight of the fact that our ability to make meaningful progress and change people’s lives for the better comes down to the work of individuals — people who, through sheer tenacity, creativity, and bravery, show us that even the most daunting problems are surmountable.”
Bradley retired from the public sector on December 7, 2021.
President Joe Biden has designated the fight against corruption as a core U.S. national security interest. Combating corruption will be a central theme of the upcoming Summit for Democracy. The Summit, to which Belize is invited, is slated for December 9-10 and will bring together global leaders from government, civil society and the private sector to discuss challenges and opportunities for international collaboration to strengthen democratic systems.
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