CAIRO: Under-developed governance systems in Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and Palestine hinder anti-corruption efforts, according to a recent Transparency International (TI) report.
TI released Sunday an overview report entitled “The Good Governance Challenge: Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and Palestine,” highlighting major gaps in legal anti-corruption provisions as well as concerns over means of introducing effective practices to end the problem.
“The idea of the project is based on conducting analytical studies and activities for the civil society to support national challenges in these countries,” TI Egypt Program Coordinator Omnia Nabil Hussein told Daily News Egypt.
“Independent experts worked on the report, holding meetings and discussions with all concerned parties, including supervisory entities in the four countries,” Hussein added.
The report, prepared over the period of about one year, depends on four previously published National Integrity System (NIS) studies.
The studies assessed each country’s governance systems, including executive and legislative bodies, the judiciary, political parties, anti-corruption agencies, non-governmental organizations and the media.
It found that overall, whether in government, the private sector or among citizens, there is a limited awareness of anti-corruption concepts such as transparency and accountability. Nepotism, bribery and patronage are so common to the extent that they are widely accepted facts of life.
Recent assessments indicate that these countries rank as “very weak” in terms of their integrity systems, the report said.
For example, the report added, in Egypt accountability remains a significant challenge across all branches of government as well as in other social sectors, including business, the media and civil society.
The report further noted that Egypt, Palestine and Lebanon do not have anti-corruption agencies; and although Morocco does, it has no power to investigate or impose sanctions.
However, the report pointed out that there is an increase in the adoption of national plans against corruption and legal frameworks including laws in Palestine to support the independence of the judiciary and draft legislation for information access in Lebanon.
There is also a Central Institute for the Prevention of Corruption planed in Morocco and an already established Transparency and Integrity Committee in Egypt, the report said.
“There are some positive trends like a more efficient role for the civil society… more organizations taking part in boosting transparency and combating corruption and institutional and legal reform attempts in the four countries,” Hussein concluded.