Interview with Mr. Abdesselam Aboudrar, Chair, Central Authority for Corruption Prevention, Kingdom of Morocco

1 October 2015.

What is the current situation in Morocco regarding anti-corruption efforts?

The citizens are more and more demanding. As a result of our efforts, the government is about to adopt an anti-corruption strategy. It’s been a 20-year fight by civil society and our own institution.

What has also been achieved is the adoption of some laws and regulations. For example, the asset declaration law; the law on the protection of victims and experts; new regulations on public procurement; and reform of the judiciary were introduced in the last 4-6 years. Now this legal framework has to be implemented and enforced and reviewed. Some things don’t work in practice.

With regard to popular demand, if it is just negative, the forces that benefit are the bad ones. When there is an effort to seek positive ways of change, then the results can be positive.

What is the impact of the UNCAC review in Morocco?

The UNCAC review of Morocco pointed out certain failures, certain deficiencies in the regulations in Morocco. Some of these failures are being addressed in the draft penal code, currently discussed by the government. However, due to a lack of coordination in the process of following up, we were behind setting up a permanent working group, consisting of the main departments related to UNCAC. This initiative will allow a higher level of coordination between national stakeholders, and support government’s anti-corruption measures to comply with UNCAC’s provisions.

What is your opinion on transparency and CSO participation in the UNCAC Review Mechanism?

Morocco supports bigger CSO’s participation in all the points related to prevention and fight against corruption.

What are Morocco’s expectations for the 6th session of the UNCAC Conference of States Parties (COSP)?

It’s a UN process. All UN processes are slow because you need consensus and you cannot force governments to agree to anything. Still it’s worth noting that more and more countries accept evaluation, country visits, publication of full review reports. It’s less and less comfortable for the countries that oppose transparency. Morocco will work to help to make progress in the review process at the next COSP session, although I remain sceptical about reaching quick achievements

What is Morocco’s position on holding a discussion of grand corruption at the UNCAC Conference of States Parties (COSP)?

I think the UNCAC COSP can discuss grand corruption. Transparency International should elaborate instruments for this. The Corruption Perceptions Index is biased towards petty corruption—it does not point out grand corruption or institutionalised corruption.