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Chahed before HPR: Draft law on illicit enrichment and conflicts of interest in public sector submitted to CSM

Published the:  20/07/2017

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(TAP) – The President of the Government Youssef Chahed said that the draft law on illicit enrichment and conflicts of interest in the public sector had been finalised and submitted to the Supreme Council of the Judiciary (French: CSM) for opinion.

Upon receipt of the opinion of the CSM, the draft law will be submitted to the House of People's Representatives (HPR) for adoption, he added, pointing out that the government will request to speed up examination of the draft law.

Speaking on Thursday at a hearing before the HPR, Chahed argued that the government had elaborated the draft law to enhance transparency and anchor the principles of integrity, neutrality and accountability in the public sector, specifying that the draft law includes a list of persons subject to the declaration of assets, cases of conflicts of interest and mechanisms for combating illicit enrichment.

"The inclusion of the issue of illicit enrichment in the legislative arsenal constitutes a real revolution as it allows the national community to know the sources of wealth of unknown origin that have been obtained illegally," he underlined.

Referring to the legal and administrative and reform procedures initiated by the National Unity Government in combating corruption, the Premier pointed out that the government is determined to honour its commitment to the national anti-corruption strategy" which had been devised in co-ordination with the National Anti-Corruption Authority (INLUCC)."

He specified that ministries have already started signing sectoral agreements to this effect.

"In December 2016, the law creating the judicial and financial pole was presented with the aim of strengthening the role of justice in the investigation, prosecution and trial of economic and financial crimes both at first instance and appeal," he said.

In this regard, the prime minister indicated that the government will be working on the preparation of implementing texts for the judicial and financial sector in the coming days.

In another connection, he voiced hope that the organic law on the right of access to information will be completed, noting that the government is currently working on finalising the process of the access to information body whose members had been elected last Tuesday by the deputies.

The government is also working on the development of enforcement texts and creating a single electronic portal for receiving, reviewing, tracking and responding to access to information requests. Amendments will also be made to contradictory texts with the right of access to information and the implementation of a comprehensive programme to ensure the training of officers in this field in the various regions of the country.

Speaking about the issue of transparency and the application of the provisions of legislative decree No. 88 of 2011 dated back to September 24, 2011, on the foreign financing of associations, Chahed affirmed that the government had invited all legal associations to inform the authorities of all foreign financing received and specify their source, amount and purpose and publish the information in a written medium within a maximum of one month. The government had also urged any association that has benefited from public funding, to prepare a detailed annual report on its sources of funding and expenditure and to file it with the Court of Auditors.

Chahed also pointed out that the government is preparing reforms aimed at improving legislative and regulatory texts in the ​public procurement field, in addition to reforms in several sectors, including customs and border systems and border crossings on land, sea and air.

The government, he added, has carried out several programmes and projects in the field of ​​administrative reform, including the project to simplify administrative procedures and to revise 2,000 procedures.

The government had also put in place the e-government project as one of the main mechanisms to be adopted in the programme of governance of administration and anti-corruption fight, nepotism and patronage through the guarantee of the right of access to information to any natural or legal person as well as the administrative procedures to be followed in this regard.

The citizen will also have the ability to keep track of his claims online in a transparent manner, monitor the performance of the administration and hold it accountable, if required, said Chahed.

The e-Government and Open-Gov action plan "Smart Gov 2020" announced recently is considered as the roadmap to be adopted by the various public structures to implement programmes and projects that will help give a new image of the Tunisian administration through the use of new technologies, the modernisation of the State’s computer systems at service of the citizen.

During the next three years, services will undergo a qualitative change as part of the modernisation of e-government and implementation of the Open-Gov through the execution of projects scheduled in the e-government strategy and the Open-Gov "Smart Gov 2020," the PM specified, the objective being, according to him, to help Tunisia be classified within 5 years, among the countries which are in the top third of the Transparency International Index (Tunisia currently ranks 78th out of 168 countries).