One World publishes the second report of the anti-corruption index in Egypt for the period January to March 2015

2 April 2015, by Maged Sorour, One World Foundation.

Maged Sorour, Director of One World Foundation, said that the report of the anti-corruption index is the first of its kind, which is issued by One World Foundation in the context of transparency and integrity programs, in order to measure progress in the fight against corruption in Egypt, and to also measure the degree of the state’s commitment and government institutions on legislation relevant to the issue. Mr. Sorour added that the fight against corruption index report differs from the Corruption Perceptions Index report. And that the anti-corruption report is a pure Egyptian effort, aims to provide policy makers in Egypt advice based on the experience of the Egyptian civil society organizations, it is considered as a foundation for starting an Arab effort action issuing indicators from within the Arab region to deal with the circumstances and the internal variables so as not to import ready indicators templates that might not suit the Arab region community and cultural concepts. Mr. Sorour added that the report is issued to cover the three months prior to the issuance of the report, and the first report was issued at the beginning of this year to cover the period from October to December of last year.

Mr. Sorour added, the report addresses a number of themes that serves as a basic indicators to measure the seriousness and effectiveness of the government institutions in the fight against corruption and the dissemination of the principles of transparency, integrity and the associated mechanisms at the legislative, procedural and executive level. The procedural level is considered the main indicator to measure the efforts of the state in the fight against corruption, and these themes are, laws and legislation, access to information, protection of witnesses and informants, Money laundering, asset recovery, the role of regulatory bodies and anti-corruption bodies.

The report also monitored the government’s efforts during the period of first of January until the end of March 2015, laws and regulations or the relevant resolutions, given the efforts of the government in the National Anti-Corruption Strategy activation, the report finds that the government has taken a number of formalities, including at the international level, which is seen in what the Egypt Embassy in Austria and its Permanent Mission to the United Nations organizations have done, in disseminating the strategy in the context of the definition of the Egyptian efforts in the fight against corruption, at the local level, The Administrative Control Authority has launched the implementation mechanisms of national anti-corruption strategy during the first meeting of the coordination Subcommittee headed by the President of administrative control, which confirmed the determination of the Commission on the implementation of the Strategic Plan Terms and according to the agreed policies, in addition to the issuance of a number of official statements by the administrative authorities concerned, while no announcement of any decisions or actions that would implement the advertised mechanisms and objectives of the national strategy to combat corruption Despite the passage of more than three months on its issuance.

The report also referred to the decision of the President of the Republic Act No. (18) for the year 2015 on the organization of the civil service, and the Minister of Planning and Follow-up and administrative reform declared that the executive regulations of the law will be released before the three months allocated to them.

The report also dealt with the case of the free access to information during the monitored period, which saw a number of official statements issued by the Minister of transitional justice that the Legislative Committee on National Security emanating from the Commission of legislative reform is currently working on a draft law on access to information, which confirmed that the general rule to the new draft law includes freedom of information and that the exception which includes national security information, while the Commission of legislative reform did not declare whether they will take advantage of the drafts of the law issued by a number of governmental and non-governmental bodies, especially the proposal presented by the Ministries of Justice and investment, and the draft law developed by a number of civil society organizations, as the bill that the Ministry of Justice is working on has not been shared or presented to any community dialogue, especially civil society organizations concerned with transparency and anti-corruption issues.

The report also pointed to the lack of the government to take any action towards the protection of witnesses and informants, and on the contrary, the period which the report covers has witnessed the government’s approval of the draft decision of the President of the Republic to the draft law amending some provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code in respect of witnesses, which included amendments to Articles 277 and 289 of the Criminal measures code so that the whole matter regarding the subpoena witnesses or hear them in the hands of the court without overturning it, and under the pretext of achieving justice and not prolong the litigation, which prompted the Department of the legislation of the State Council, to reject the amendments proposed by the Ministry of Justice to the presence of unconstitutional suspicion.

The report also addressed the government’s efforts in the fight against money laundering, where the period did not witness the reporting, operational procedures at the official level to reduce the phenomenon of money laundering, which directly undermine development efforts and support the economy, but at the legislative level, the Committee for Economic Legislation emanating from the general legislative reform at the Ministry of transitional justice submitted a draft law “money laundering” and includes amending some provisions of Law No. 80 of 2003, by adding a new Article 16 bis “A” allows reconciliation of funds provided for by money laundering law, the government did not announce whether the law is on the list of legislation that will be issued before the formation of the next parliament, or that the law will be part of the legislative agenda for the next Parliament.

Hoping of asset recovery, despite the government to take a number of actions at the legislative level with respect to the recovery of the assets represented in the cabinet’s approval of the draft presidential decree law the establishment and organization of the National Committee to recover funds and assets and assets abroad, but that did not win any developments on Executive level to restore the money smuggled abroad to file during the reporting period.

The report period did not witness any action by the government on the problem of overlapping terms of reference of regulators, which limits the effectiveness of oversight on the part of authorities and institutions control in Egypt, which reaches over 30 supervisory body, which falls under the scope of competence of government institutions and sectors and public sectors of the public and the private business sector.

Notes

  • Egyptian anti-corruption index differs from the International Corruption Perceptions Index, but seeks for establishing the same position at the Arab world level.
  • The Strategic Plan for fighting corruption still needs procedural mechanisms and executive system for reform from the inside.
  • The Project of Information Act to include transitional justice has not been subject to any public dialogue.
  • Legislative system for the protection of witnesses and informants is still absent.
  • Money laundering draft law is a good step, but nothing new on asset recovery.

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