On Wednesday, December 9, 2020, the Libya Institute for Advanced Studies organized a meeting on the Zoom platform, entitled: A meeting on combating corruption, on the occasion of International Anti-Corruption Day.
Dr. Anas Abu Bakr Mustafa Baira hosted it
Director of the Center for Public Administration and Institutional Development at the University of Benghazi
Doctorate in the field of good governance and institutional reform in public administration and political science
A collaborative researcher with several local bodies in the areas of institutional reform (National Planning Council – Ministry of Finance – Benghazi Municipality and others).
Accredited researcher in the field of institutional and administrative reform with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
He has a book: Institutional Reform: Past, Present, and Vision for the Future, to be published soon by the University of Benghazi.
The meeting was moderated by Mr. Jamal Al-Falah.
Lecture title: How do we fight corruption in the future in Libya? The pillars of rational institutional reform as an appropriate approach to the solution.
The meeting was also enriched with important observations, questions, and inquiries related to the topic, and participants came from various Libyan cities.
Here is a summary of this valuable meeting:
Dr. indicated. In his lecture, Anas mentioned a group of important concepts, definitions and clarifications, including:
Definition of corruption and that it is: the use of public authority to achieve private purposes, and he covered the types of financial corruption, economic corruption, and others.
He answered the question: What is institutional reform and why is it a proposed gateway to urgent creative solutions?
He explained that the state system and reform indicators are through which corruption is eliminated, such as: public accountability – the rule and sovereignty of Qalunun, the effectiveness of the law, and the quality of legislation.
Corruption in Libya is due to the absence of the current system of the Libyan government regarding the transitional phase, and whenever things seem unclear, imagination leaks!
He pointed out that the state was fighting the corruption it wanted to combat, without a general strategy. He also explained that there were several laws in Libya concerned with combating corruption, about 10 of which were: Law 85 regarding the criminalization of mediation, which are still in effect.
The most important work that was before February was the Administrative Audit Authority, which only lasted for 8 months in 2008. It was an agency established by decision of the General People’s Congress. It is an important idea that should demand the return of the Financial Audit Authority, because its function is effective oversight of public funds, examining and reviewing the final accounts of the government and ministries. Unfortunately, the final account of the Libyan state has not been closed since 2008, and this is dangerous for the reputation of the Libyan state. We also hope to establish an organization to raise awareness of the state’s financial system, budgets, and the final account.
During the transitional period, a set of laws were issued, including: an anti-corruption commission, Law No. 63 of 2012, Law 17 of 2013,
Law Concerning the Administrative Oversight Authority, Law No. 11 amended, all of this heralded the development of a comprehensive national anti-corruption strategy, plans and programmes, but we did not see that! Because of the instability of the state!
He also warned that it is dangerous for the fight against corruption to be dealt with only in a criminal manner, but rather efforts must be combined in an integrated manner across a set of policies, similar to what happened in America and Singapore.
Regulatory measures, cultural reform, education, and civil service all work together in America, and in Singapore it has mobilized the entire civil society to force the government to fight corruption.
In Jordan, King Abdullah also announced the full government commitment from the highest levels to fight corruption, and he announced reforms in the civil service, educational curricula, culture, and legislation, and all of them came together and reduced corruption.
He also highlighted the necessity of activating the anti-character assassination law, and that it is consistent with continental, financial and economic policies and governmental commitment at the highest levels.
Libya must shift from combating criminality to combating corruption to establishing supreme national monitoring of good governance indicators (the six indicators)
All of these integrated policies combat and limit corruption, and an enlightened society should be mobilized behind the momentum of pursuing corruption.
We hope that Dinar will have a rational man or woman who has the legal and security capabilities for reform, in addition to other integrated capabilities, and with it, reform will be achieved.
He answered several questions, including:
Are there specialized scientific and research studies regarding combating corruption in Libya, whether before or after 2011?
The answer: In November 2017, the first national anti-corruption conference was organized in the Al-Bayda Parliament, arranged by the University of Benghazi with the Audit Bureau and the Oversight Authority, and now the conference book is ready, comprehensive studies on corruption, 22 recommendations, available for printing at the Studies Center at the University of Benghazi, there are also reports. The oversight body and other important reports in Libya.
I propose that we establish a Ministry of Institutional Reform and Monitoring.
Among the questions also asked:
Among the forms of corruption (the 10% money recovery law is taken by the person who recovers the money. Can a self-respecting country allow this law?
The answer: Everything is observed.
How do you see a way to solve the current corruption (which is happening around us in every corner), along with the problems of banks and liquidity, the conditions of new merchants, and the attacks on old merchants?
The answer: The solution is law enforcement, and the six criteria, including: political stability, accountability, government effectiveness, and the rule of law.
Among the interventions was that of Dr. Nasser Al-Hadar, head of the Lana Transparency and Anti-Corruption Organization:
We presented many initiatives to the government, the Prime Minister or Parliament, due to the large and very large trend of corruption, but to no avail.
We are all optimistic for the future, but corruption needs a culture and the strengthening of a culture of transparency from the early years of education, to keep pace with the movement of institutional development.
Does the political will and the supreme leadership of the state have a firm desire to combat corruption? The common factor for all of these. No one has a firm desire to combat corruption, which has led to the emergence of corruption clearly and frankly.
There are important things that support institutional work. Why did the international community not turn to technical work to establish an electronic or smart government, information technology, which is among the things that support the fight against corruption?
My words are questions that are constantly present in the street, and we rely on media platforms, religious platforms, universities, and study programs.
Dr.’s comments Anas:
The state financial system law (legislative and regulatory approach) is very important in order to combat corruption. E-government is important, but the problem lies in training young people and cadres who are able to keep pace with development and are interested in the administration in which they are in keeping up with the modernization of the sites that they supervise.
It is also necessary to remove the contradiction between the legislation that led to corruption. There are rapid proposals from us to pass the procedures through the national number.
Regarding monitoring corruption, the international will will not hand over its monitoring and actions except to the hands of an elected government and a complete state in full control, and the state is coming and we are not talking about wishes, we only lack political will and the arrival of rational leaders.
We can arrange another meeting in which we present a proposal for a law reviving the Anti-Control and Transparency Authority, and discuss a very in-depth discussion.
The reports of the Audit and Administrative Control Bureau deserve praise and thanks because they provide hope, and analyze government spending as a mechanism to stop corruption.
Mr. Muhammad Al-Omari’s intervention on the role of the media in combating corruption, and that the media is influential and controlled by some corrupt people.
Question: Raafat Bey: The problem of corruption consists of the large number of agencies interested in combating corruption. This is a type of corruption, so the large number of agencies is nothing but the distribution of positions and satisfaction only?
I see the reason for administrative and financial corruption in not allowing the force of law to allow civil society institutions to access information, and thus money is spent through the documentary cycle despite its absence on the ground.
How do we fight simple corruption in its style? An example of this is that the Italian adhesive tape was purchased at a price of ten dinars during the days of the dollar at 1.40, even though the public authority bought a large quantity. Instead of the price being lower than the market, which is 2 dinars maximum, it became ten dinars, despite the fact that the documentary cycle is legal and It is not flawless, but in terms of public policies in spending the public budget, it is clear corruption
Ms. Basma Al-Werfalli: There are many corruption cases that some organizations concerned with combating corruption have worked on monitoring and presenting in many activities. The number of organizations working in this field is small and their effectiveness is negligible compared to the amount of corruption in Libya.
If the security situation is not strong to protect those who work in this field, then the weakest belief is that we work on monitoring in silence. Monitoring must be supported by documents, not just talk or comment, and the public, private and civil society sectors are the main trio in promoting sustainable development.