National Consultations on Combating Corruption launched: Prime Minister calls upon all Iraqis to join the fightApr 8, 2017
Baghdad– Large-scale reforms in the procurement of goods and services in the health sector, and strong multi-pronged steps designed to stop massive evasion of customs revenues will be key to stamp out corruption in Iraq. This was one the top recommendations of the National Consultations on Combating Corruption in Iraq, launched in a workshop held in Baghdad on 06-08 April 2017.
The high-level event was inaugurated by the Prime Minister of Iraq, Mr. Haider Al-Abadi. It was a first to bring together the heads and representatives of all investigative and audit agencies, including the Commission of Integrity and the Supreme Office of Audit. The private sector, academia, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were also represented.
The Prime Minister of Iraq, Mr. Haider Al-Abadi, said: “The Government has embarked upon a fight-to-finish with corruption. I call upon all fellow citizens to join. We do not want any Iraqi to feel discriminated against and unequal based on their race, religion, or beliefs.” Citing recent changes in the restructuring of the armed forces, Mr. Al-Abadi added: “These changes have struck at the heart of corrupt practices within the security forces and strengthened the resolve of the military to defend the country resolutely against armed aggressors.”
“One of the crucial reforms aimed at injecting a sense of fair-play in the system involved reducing the gap in salaries, perks, and entitlements of senior and regular officials within the Government. Other reforms involved incentivizing hard work amongst officials, eliminating monopolies, and allowing free and fair competition in procurement of goods and services. The country needs forensics-type expertise to identify corrupt officials. Iraq’s wealth belongs to all citizens and should be distributed fairly to achieve justice, in accordance with the priorities of the Government,” the Prime Minister reiterated.
Participants in the National Consultations worked towards producing an action agenda to fight corruption across major sectors that are vulnerable to corrupt practices. Initiatives to improve transparency in public spending and service delivery were discussed, as well as efforts to accelerate reforms in fiscal management, including the elimination of loopholes in supply chain management and procurement of goods and services. Consultations also focused on the steps needed to enact the national Access to Information Law. Final recommendations will be circulated for consideration by respective authorities in the coming period.