Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Basil Williams recently led a delegation to the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) XLIX Plenary and Working Group meetings in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.
The conference was held from May 27-31, 2019, a press release from the Ministry of Legal Affairs stated. Besides Minister Williams, Guyana’s delegation included stakeholders made up of the country’s AML/CFT regime, including members of the AML/CFT and PF National Coordination Committee (NCC).
According to the ministry’s release, a number of issues were dealt with by the Plenary, including:
1. Mutual Evaluations, Follow Up Process and International Cooperative Review Group (ICRG) matters: the Mutual Evaluation Report (MER) of Haiti was up for discussion, due to the country having had their Mutual Evaluation (MEVAL) in June 2018. The Report examined the country’s AML/CFT systems and its level of compliance with the FATF’s 40 Recommendations and 11 Immediate Outcomes on effectiveness.
These Reports are guided by the FATF Methodology which requires countries to consider the effectiveness with which AML/CFT measures are implemented, as well as technical compliance for each of the FATF Recommendations.
The MER of Haiti was approved by the Plenary having been preceded by discussions by the CFATF Working Group on FATF Issues (WGFI). The MER will go through a post-Plenary Quality and Consistency process and will be published once the process is concluded.
As a result, Haiti will enter the Enhanced Follow Up Process of the CFATF upon publication of its MER.
2. Discussion on the third Enhanced Follow Up Report (FUR) of Trinidad and Tobago and its technical compliance re-ratings process: Trinidad and Tobago presented its third Enhanced Follow Up Report, in which the jurisdiction put forward a number of the ratings from its initial MER in 2016 for re-ratings. This was discussed at both the ICRG and the Plenary, by which it was confirmed by the Secretariat and the Experts who assessed the FUR that Trinidad and Tobago was successful in achieving upgrades on a number of FATF Recommendations. The Plenary recommended that the 3rd Enhanced FUR of Trinidad and Tobago be circulated for the Quality and Consistency Review process and that Trinidad and Tobago remain in the enhanced follow-up process.
3. Discussion on the 9th Follow Up Report of Sint Maarten: The Plenary discussed the 9th Follow Up Report of Sint Maarten which represents the CFATF Secretariat’s analysis of Sint Maarten’s progress with regard to correcting the deficiencies identified in its 2012 MER. The Plenary made the decision that Sint Maarten will remain in status quo, that is, in the second stage of the enhanced follow up process.
4. Amendment to the CFATF ICRG Procedures for the 4th Round of AML/CFT Mutual Evaluations: The amendments to the Procedures were confirmed by the Plenary and consist of clarification of the FATF ICRG one-year ‘Observation Period,’ which impacts the reporting of Members under enhanced Follow-Up; and the inclusion of referral to the FATF ICRG process as an additional measure where countries placed in Enhanced Follow-Up do not achieve satisfactory progress.
5. Updates on the February 2019 FATF Plenary: The Outcomes of the February 2019 FATF Plenary Meeting were presented. In particular, the FATF ICRG Meeting discussed (i) the countries report from the Joint Group of the Americas with an emphasis on the progress reports by Trinidad and Tobago and The Bahamas; (ii) the prioritisation of Work to Enhance the ICRG Procedures, where it was importantly agreed that the Broad Money Indicator (M3 Data) will now be used to determine the prioritisation criteria (USD $5 billion) for entry into the FATF ICRG monitoring process and (iii) jurisdictions meeting the 4th Round referral criteria.
6. CFATF Governance: The CFATF XLIX Plenary was chaired by the Attorney General of Barbados the Honorable Dale Marshall Q.C. M.P. who is the current Chairman of CFATF whilst Lt. Col. Edward Croft, Director of the Organisation of Drug and Money Laundering Control Policy of Antigua and Barbuda holds the position of Deputy Chairman. The Attorney General of Guyana the Honourable Basil Williams S.C. M.P. is the CFATF’s Immediate Past Chairman.