CAIRO: Minister of State for Legal Affairs and Parliamentary Councils Mufid Shehab said that the ministerial group for political and legislative affairs has finished reviewing the draft decree by the prime minister to form a National Anti-Corruption Committee, in its Thursday meeting.
The committee will organize public awareness campaigns and research in a bid to combat corruption.
Egypt is one of the 30 countries which signed the United Nations Convention Against Corruption in 2003. Even though the treaty came into force in December 2005, corruption has continued to trouble the developing country.
Transparency International, the global coalition against corruption, has said that “corruption in Egypt is pervasive and the use of wasta (‘influence’ in Arabic) and facilitation payments are essential to get most things done. They further note that that corruption has infiltrated all aspects of Egyptian society. The country is facing major challenges in combating both grand and petty corruption.”
Egypt maintained a weak position in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index from 1998 to 2009, coming in 111th place out of 180 countries in the 2009 CPI, scoring 2.8 on a scale that ranges from 0 (high corruption) to 10 (no corruption).
The Transparency International report also states, “Accountability and transparency are very weak in the legal/regulation system and it’s implementation,” which includes accountability of the government and parliament, despite the fact that there are regulations to govern conflict of interest and asset disclosure.
Transparency International also noted that there is a lack of access, creation and circulation of information.
A report by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) also identifies a number of factors contributing to the high level of corruption in Egypt. These include the weak civil society monitoring capacity especially in CSO networks, weak professional journalism on corruption and no protection for whistle blowers and overall impunity and marginalization of the poor in rule of law and access to justice as the power context by which corruption exists.