At least 76 cases of corruption were reported inside 22 state institutions in March, at the top of which was the Supply Ministry for the fourth month in a row, according to regular reports issued by the NGO Partners for Transparency (PFORT).
The Ministry of Supply recorded 16 cases, maintaining the highest record among ministries since PFORT’s December 2015 report. The major issues have remained practically the same since then: supply of goods in the informal market, expired food sold in markets, unlicensed sales outlets, in addition to merchants’ manipulation of prices and subsidised goods.
Other ministries in which incidents related to corruption occurred include: the Ministry of Local Development with seven incidents, agriculture and education with six cases each, five for the Interior Ministry, and four or less for the ministries of health, investment, justice, endowment, trade transportation, housing, youth, and sports.
PFORT further took note of the presidential decree issued on 28 March dismissing top auditor Hisham Geneina from his position as head of a senior regulatory body, the Central Auditing Organisation.
Walaa Gad, director of PFORT, had been critical of the decision in previous comments to Daily News Egypt, stating that the regime repeatedly proved a lack of real will to counter corruption.
Other state institutions mentioned in the report include the cabinet, the House of Representatives, and professional syndicates.
PFORT issues its report on corruption in state institutions on a monthly basis. It accounts for incidents reported in local media, as well as reports by other regulatory bodies such as the Administrative Prosecution in charge of investigating corruption incidents.
Its March report noted that 59 percent of the reported cases were under investigation. A number of officials from those institutions are being held accountable for corruption incidents, according to PFORT.
A few examples include the referral of four employees from the Egyptian Radio and Television Union (ERTU) to investigation for financial and administrative penalties. Another six engineers working for the Agriculture Ministry were detained pending investigations into accusations of taking advantage of their positions to illegally seize land. Twelve officials from the Red Sea governorate are facing investigations for similar charges.
This comes despite PFORT counting more than 20 occurrences in March where state officials addressed corruption in their public statements and state institutions held workshops and training sessions on combating corruption.
Cairo Criminal Court on Monday sentenced former agriculture minister Salah Helal to 10 years in prison and ordered that he pay a fine of EGP 1m. Helal had been charged with accepting bribes while in public office.