Iraqi Defence Minister Najah Al-Shammari has issued an order on Thursday to refer several officers and commanders to military courts on corruption charges.

The Ministry of Defence did not name the officers or specify their ranks.

Last year, the Iraqi Commission of Integrity uncovered more than 2,000 warrants for corruption in the country in 2017, issued against 290 government officials, including ministers.

(Source: Middle East Monitor)

By John Lee.

A former Minister for Trade and two former State Directors of the Ministry have been sentenced in absentia to seven years in prison for corruption.

A statement from Iraq’s Commission of Integrity said the three committed offenses in two contracts between the State Company for Trading Grain and a company supplying basmati rice, with “damage to public money in the two contracts” of $14.3 million.

Middle East Online names the former minister as Malas Abdulkarim al-Kasnazani [Mlas Mohammed Al-Kasanzan] (pictured), who was dismissed from Haider al-Abadi’s cabinet in 2015.

(Sources: Commission of Integrity, Middle East Online)

By John Lee.

The Iraqi government has retaken ownership of a property in Baghdad, after it said it was unlawfully sold to “the wife of a senior official in the previous [Abadi] government“.

The Commission of Integrity said in a statement that “the property was sold by the official to his wife in violation to the legal controls stipulated in the Law of Sale and Rent of State Properties No. 32 of 1986, and without conducting a public bid.

The official was not publicly identified.

(Source: Commission of Integrity)

By John Lee.

Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi has asked Iraq’s Integrity Commission to investigate the delays and stoppages in some infrastructure projects in Basra and other southern provinces.

He said some of these delays were the result of corruption, while other we because of what he described as a dereliction of duty and a failure of leadership.

He added that they will also look at the administration of border crossings to ensure that they are outside the influence of any political group.

(Source: Govt of Iraq)

UNDP support to the Commission of Integrity to fight corruption

A technical study visit is currently being organized in Korea by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with support from UNDP Seoul Policy Centre (USPC) for a high-ranking delegation from the Iraqi Integrity commission, to benefit from the Korea’s innovative, well tested-and-proven policy tools to compact corruption.

This activity is part of a larger UNDP led programme to support the Iraqi government in its efforts to fight corruption, that is framed by the MoU signed between UNDP and the Iraqi government in 2016.

This visit also comes under the framework of the recently signed MoU between the Iraqi Integrity commission CoI and Korea Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission (ACRC). The aim of the visit is to equip the Iraqi Commission of Integrity with the technical knowledge and insight on the implementation of Korea’s policy tools especially the Anti-Corruption Initiative Assessment (AIA), implemented in Korea since 2002 for effective monitoring and implementation of anti-corruption measures in public institutions.

The AIA will be customized to the Iraqi context to implement a National Corruption Index.

The inaugural session was chaired by the Standing Commissioner of the ACRC Mr. Hyeon Kim, who said:

“Iraq is the first Arab State who signed an MoU with Korea, and also the first country from the Arab region who would like to benefit from the Korea’s experience and the innovative policies and tools that have been in place and tremendously, helped in improving the corruption prevention measures in the public sector.”

The head of Iraqi Delegation expressed the eagerness to actualize the MoU signed between the CoI and ACRC in last April. This study visit is the kick off of a long-term collaboration and knowledge sharing between the two entities and a significant milestone towards building an effective partnership that is supported by joint efforts by the UNDP Iraq and the Seoul Centre to reinforce the Iraqi government’s efforts in fighting corruption.

(Source: UNDP)

Comprehend the Corruption Perception Index CPI to introduce meaningful Anti-Corruption Reforms

The United Nations Development Program UNDP, in partnership with the Iraqi Commission of Integrity, organized a workshop designed to discuss and provide an understanding on the data and methodologies used to rank countries on the Corruption Perception Index (CPI).

The Workshop organized jointly with the Transparency International (TI), and hosted by the Iraqi Anti-Corruption Academy bringing together for the first-time government officials with civil society representatives to meaningfully discuss the factors influencing the corruption perception in the public sector.

The Regional advisor for Arab States in Transparency International Ms. Kinda Hattar facilitated the very interactive discussion among the participants who acquired in-depth knowledge on the source of information, and the global surveys that feed into the CPI.

Moreover, the discussion led to recognize the institutional changes and reforms needed to introduce impactful results on combating and preventing corruption.

The workshop is a significant milestone towards building a partnership between the UNDP, TI, Iraqi Government and stakeholders to reinforce the government’s efforts in fighting corruption.

This workshop was followed by several high-level meetings with government officials to discuss practical action plans to sensitize relevant public institutions and civil society to fight corruption.

UNDP through its FFER-Federal Project has already deployed high-caliber international experts to support Anti-Corruption activities and to build the capacity of relevant government entities engaged in fighting corruption.

(Source: UNDP)

Commission of Integrity launches campaign to engage non-governmental organizations in the fight against corruption

Iraq’s Commission of Integrity (CoI) has launched a national campaign to promote a broader engagement of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and civil society in the fight against corruption.

Under the leadership of the office of the Prime Minister of Iraq and through the Funding Facility for Economic Reform (FFER-Federal) project, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is supporting Iraq’s efforts to implment the refrom agenda introduced by Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi in late 2015.

During a ceremony in Baghdad, the Head of the CoI, Mr. Hassan Al-Yassery, said:

“Only by working together we can reinforce our efforts to end corruption. The six-month campaign that we are launching today will help us to mobilize civil society and improve coordination with NGOs to promote transparency, integrity and accountability for a better Iraq.”

The Director General of Relations with NGOs Office at the CoI, Mr. Mahmod Al-Jboree, added:

“Nearly 300 Iraqi NGOs are participating in this campaign, in addition to academic institutions. By engaging this large number of NGOs from different governorates, we are expecting to raise awareness of 3 to 4 million Iraqis.”

UNDP Adviser on Anti-Corruption, Mr. Anwar Ben Khelifa, said:

“This campaign is one important step in deepening the culture of integrity and leveraging the role of civil society as a key actor in flighting corruption. Through FFER-Federal, we will continue to support initiatives that help Iraq move towards good governance.”

UNDP’s FFER-Federal has already channeled high-caliber international expertise to support top priority reform initiatives. This includes assistance to corruption eradication activities, maximizing of non-oil revenue collection, and support to the Government to meet economic reform commitments and fiscal adjustment made under the loan agreements with international lending institutions.

(Source: UNDP)

MP Adil al-Nuri of the State of Law Alliance has said the integrity commission will commence procedures to investigate the Minister of Transport, Kazem Finjan, on corruption and waste of public funds.

Al-Nuri added that the Integrity Commission will renew a push to prosecute senior officials involved in corruption during the coming parliamentary period.

(Source: GardaWorld)

The Commission of Integrity has denied reports on the release of Iraqi Airways chairman following his arrest “red-handed” taking a bribe.

A commission statement on August 15 said that reports by some media outlets that claimed the release of Samer Kabba, the Iraqi Airways chairman, were untrue.

The statement said the investigating judge referred the case to the criminal court to complete legal procedures.

It also urged media outlets to verify reports on this issue.

Media reports said Kabba was released on bail pending investigations after his arrest while accepting a bribe.

An MP earlier warned against pressures on the judiciary to release Kabba.

(Source: GardaWorld)

By John Lee.

The governor Basra has reportedly stepped down and gone to Iran following an investigation by the Integrity Commission into allegations of corruption against him.

The Integrity Commission has asking the foreign ministry in Baghdad to ask Iran to repatriate Majid al-Nasrawi.

According to a report from Reuters, a Basra-based politician close to Nasrawi said the accusations were “politically motivated“.

(Source: Reuters)