Interagency coordination, key in fighting against corruption: Moroccan expert


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Brussels- Speaking at the Crans Montana High Level Panel on anti-corruption and good governance on Oct 19 in Brussels, Moroccan development outreach and governance specialist Karima Rhanem said that the 167 signatory countries of the UN convention against corruption should put in place a multidisciplinary and comprehensive strategy for mainstreaming anti-corruption and good governance policies and measures and incorporate it into their development agendas.

“Anti-corruption policies should not solely be dealth with from a security approach but also from a global socio-economic approach that include security, education, legislation, behavior change communication and development,” stressed Mrs. Rhanem

She pointed out that “despite sustained efforts made to reinforce good governance, especially at the level of improving the business environment and public management, as well as issuing legislation aimed at combating corruption, there is still a gap between laws, its implementation and the impact on the ground.”

Corruption touches almost all sectors. At the level of business enabling environment, MENA countries have not fully been able to be more competitive in the regional and global market and attract foreign investment due to the prevalence of corruption. As far as human resources are concerned, not all administrations have efficient administrative and legislative rules related to good conduct, ethics, conflict of interest and transparent public procurement processes.

Mrs. Rhanem also added that regardless of the fact that e-governance has contributed a great deal in establishing more open and transparent governments, laws related to access information are limited if not absent in the MENA region.

The Moroccan specialist sees that one of the major issues in fighting corruption lays in interagency coordination and communication. “Government agencies and stakeholders involved in fighting corruption have less efficient coordination mechanism in the fight against corruption. Often, there is a historical competition between agencies, and conflicting agendas that impact the desired results,” she stressed.

She added that states need to do a geo-risk mapping of corruption and ensure an effective information system mechanism for better coordination and joint implementation. States also need to have a comprehensive behavior change communication strategy to communicate about corruption and raise citizens and governments awareness about the dangerous implications of corruption.

Given the important role that civil society and media play in raising awareness about and fighting corruption, Mrs. Rhanem emphasized that civil society organizations, audit and anti-corruption institutions and media need to be strengthened and empowered with easy access to information to allow them contribute to fighting this phenomenon. She also added that free and independent media along with fair and transparent judicial system are key in winning the combat against corruption.

Mrs. Rhanem highlighted that the generation  of new leaders could harness the opportunities offered by social media in influencing mass audiences of socially engaged online users and boosting civic engagement and good governance values among them with the aim of changing their behavior and attitudes towards corruption.

Mrs. Rhanem also talked about the importance of promoting decentralized policies aiming at including citizens in decision-making processes and establishing ethical standards to ensure fair and transparent competition and free access to markets that would eventually put a end to any illegal practices.

The Moroccan young specialist called for improving legislations aimed at fighting corruption while guaranteeing the protection of identities of the people who report on corruption cases. She also called for revisiting strategic approaches related to anti-corruption and reinforcing surveillance tools while getting advanced diagnosis on the socio-behavioral aspect of corruption.

The panel on Anti-corruption and good governance also saw the participation of anti-corruption institutional representatives including Mrs. Chantal Cutajar, director of Research and Action Group on organized Crime Administrator at Transparency International France, as well as Mr. François Badie, head of the Central Service for the Prevention of Corruption in France.

Participants in the panel highlighted different initiatives in fighting corruption among which is the UK bribery act of 2010. They also set the alarm as to the enormous financial, economic and social loss of corruption which has a negative impact on the price of public procurements and service delivery to citizens.

The high level session on anti-corruption, which was organized within the framework of Crans Montana 15th International Summit of Transnational Crime and Security between Oct 16 and 19 in Brussels, aimed at providing business decision- makers, government, civil servants and international and regional organizations with adequate information and guidance on effective ways to promote good governance and transparency in both the public and private sector.

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Categories: Governance

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