President Lobo Announces Transparency Commission

+ Brandon Fuller

The Honduran government, led by President Porfirio Lobo and Congressional President Juan Orlando Hernandez, is working to establish a reform zone based in part on the charter cities concept. In July, the Honduran National Congress passed a constitutional statute that defines the governance structure for la Región Especial de Desarrollo (RED), or the Special Development Region.

The Honduran Congress identified as a key feature of this governance structure a new entity known as the Transparency Commission. As its name suggests, the Commission plays an important role in ensuring that governance in the RED is effective and transparent.

Last week, President Lobo appointed five pro tempore members of the Transparency Commission: Paul Romer (Commission Chair), Ong Boon HweeNancy BirdsallHarry Strachan, and George Akerlof.

President Lobo charged the pro tempore Commission with several immediate tasks:

  • Establish a procedure for suggesting possible RED boundaries to the Honduran Congress.
  • Establish a procedure for receiving and reviewing development proposals from would-be investors in the RED.
  • Ensure that business dealings related to the RED remain open, competitive, and free of corruption.
  • Recommend nine permanent members of the Transparency Commission for appointment by President Lobo.

Until the President appoints the nine permanent members, the pro tempore members assume the full responsibilities of the Transparency Commission. Though President Lobo may ask one or more of the five initial members to remain as permanent members, they may, as the pro tempore nature of their appointment indicates, step down upon finding a suitable replacement.

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