Integrity: a prison sentence against the Minister of Finance and the director of the Rafidain Bank earlier

12/12/2018

Revealed the Integrity Commission, on Wednesday, a prison sentence against the Minister of Finance and the director of the Rafidain Bank earlier, attributed the reason to damage the amount of 40 billion dinars.


The Department of Investigation in the Authority in a statement received Alsumaria News, a copy of it that "the Criminal Court on the issues of integrity in Baghdad issued two sentences of imprisonment for seven years against the Minister of Finance and the director of the Rafidain Bank precedes, according to the provisions of Article 340 of the Penal Code and the meaning of the articles of participation 47 and 48 and 49 of it,


"indicating that" this came after the agreement of convicted fugitives in 2012, and the joint with other defendants separated cases, causing intentional damage amounted to (40 billion,000) billion dinars with funds and the interests of the body where they were working, through violations committed from Before them ".
Integrity:


"They have granted a loan to one of the fertilizers production companies, despite the lack of economic feasibility of the project for which the loan was granted and the absence of real estate guarantees, despite the large amount of the loan.


This led to the project being stopped and the loan was not paid," he said. , After reviewing the evidence obtained in the case, which is the statement of the legal representative of the Ministry of Finance who requested the complaint against the accused,


in addition to the minutes of the investigative committee composed in the Office of the Inspector General of the Ministry of Finance, which recommended referral of the accused to the competent courts T that brought the court to the conclusion that the definitive and conclusive evidence obtained is sufficient and compelling convictions. "


In the same context, the court itself issued late in October last two sentences of imprisonment for seven years against the owner of the fertilizer production company that obtained the loan and its Commissioner Commissioner,


in accordance with the provisions of Article 444 / XI of the Penal Code and the meaning of Articles 47, 48 and 49 thereof, In order to cause them to cause damage to public money.


The decisions issued against the four accused including issuing arrest warrants, investigating and carrying out the fundamental search of the convicts, supporting the seizure of their movable and immovable property, and granting the injured party the right to seek compensation before the civil courts after the judgments have been decided by the court.

https://www.alsumaria.tv/news/254923…D8%B5%D8%B1/ar

Statement by Alice Walpole, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General

Iraq’s Democratic Experience – Prospects and Challenges

Rafidain Centre, Najaf

4 December 2018

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear friends,

Thank you for the invitation to speak here today, at the Al-Rafidain Center, on Iraq’s democratic experience.

2018 has been both an encouraging and challenging year for Iraq and its citizens. On the positive side, we witnessed two broadly successful electoral processes, consolidating Iraq’s democratic credentials. In May, within the constitutional time-frame, Iraq held its national parliamentary elections. Candidates and political parties conducted largely honourable campaigns, under an Electoral Code of Conduct drafted by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, free from sectarian-based discourse or inflammatory statements. There was, however, disappointing abuse of some, primarily female, candidates. Elections were held on time, and most people (including the displaced) were able to cast their votes and select their representatives freely and safely. The liberated areas witnessed an open voting process for the first time since the defeat of Da’esh. I commend the efforts of electoral officials, party agents and the security forces in making the elections largely peaceful, secure and orderly.

But we should not be complacent. The national elections were marked by a low voter turnout of just 44%. The decision by more than half of the voting population not to exercise their democratic right sends a strong signal of dissatisfaction to politicians over failures to meet people’s expectations or to provide for their needs, and a strong message to place the interests of the Iraqi people and the nation above partisan, sectarian, individual or group interests. I encourage the Iraqi political elites, specifically incoming ministers and members of parliament, to draw the necessary conclusions on the need for improved representation, justice for all, democratic accountability and good governance free of corruption, sectarian quotas, nepotism and patronage.

You will recall that the post-election phase was marked by widespread complaints. Allegations of electoral fraud and mismanagement resulted in the decision, which the United Nations supported, to conduct a partial manual ballot recount. I would like to note the transparent, credible and well-organised conduct of the recount (which I myself witnessed in several recount locations). I commend the professionalism of all recount staff, both Independent High Electoral Commission and judiciary personnel, under the capable, impartial supervision of the Board of Judges. I believe the recount increased public confidence in the election results. I hope it also increased confidence more generally in the electoral process.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Throughout the post-election and government formation period, the people took to the streets to express their dissatisfaction with the management of state affairs. Their demands must be taken seriously if the democratic process is to succeed in Iraq. The demonstrations which began in Basra in July and spread to other southern governorates including Missan, Muthanna, Qadisiya, Dhi Qar, Najaf, Karbala, Babil, Wasit, and then to Baghdad, were a clear call on the government to address the basic rights and needs of the people. The gravity of further violent protests in Basra in September sent a signal to the government to find tangible solutions to local problems of lack of delivery of basic services, shortages of electricity, lack of jobs and pervasive corruption. The protestors accused national leaders and successive governments of ignoring them and expressed deep and growing frustration with the political system, including a sectarian quota system they deem corrupt and dysfunctional, and perceived foreign interference in internal affairs.

While many political leaders expressed their support for the demands of the protesters, there has been little actual progress in effecting change. Former Prime Minister Abadi and the Council of Ministers made commendable efforts to implement some rapid relief measures, but these remain insufficient to address the depth of people’s needs and concerns. The new government now needs to prioritise political, economic and social reforms, justice, equality and accountability, reconciliation and the fight against corruption. Job creation will enable economic development, stability and prosperity, while Iraq should maintain its sovereignty and independence, free from foreign interference. The challenges faced by Iraq are deep-rooted and can only be tackled by strong and unified governance. Prime Minister Abdul-Mahdi and his cabinet of ministers must engage in a fight against corruption, while the new Council of Representatives should reform laws that do not embed justice and equality.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I commend the successful completion of the Kurdistan Region parliamentary elections. Again, accusations of electoral fraud were fully investigated. On 30 October, the Electoral Judicial Panel of the Kurdistan Region Court of Cassation approved the election results. The Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan have assured us of their intention to consult closely with all local political parties on government formation. The Kurdistan Islamic Union and the New Generation Movement have announced that they will form an Opposition in the Kurdistan Parliament. All this is welcome progress. However, to date there have been no formal agreements on government formation. In this regard we urge the Kurdish parties to complete negotiations and the formation of the parliament to ensure that the needs of the people can be proactively addressed.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The United Nations was reassured to note that Mr Abdul-Mahdi, as PM-designate, received the endorsement of many prominent parliamentary blocs to choose his ministers freely, on the basis of their capabilities and experience rather than sectarian or political quota systems. We commended the democratic transfer of power between the outgoing Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi and incoming Prime Minister Abdul-Mahdi within the Constitutional timeline. At the handover ceremony on 25 October, Mr. Abadi recalled the achievements of his government. He and his government, the Kurdistan regional government, the armed forces and the people of Iraq do indeed deserve acknowledgment and gratitude for the progress made thus far. While the government formation process has not been without difficulty, the political blocs have demonstrated willingness to act in support of the Prime Minister. Competition and differences have been largely political and not sectarian, and in this way, a break from the past. Iraq must now build on these foundations.

I remain concerned that the government formation process has stalled as disagreements over some ministerial posts continues to divide political parties and blocs. The United Nations urges Prime Minister Abdul-Mahdi and the political parties to reach agreement and complete the cabinet. All political forces now share a responsibility for creating an enabling environment for the new Prime Minister and government to deliver on their programme and for ensuring political stability. The Government’s new programme, on which the United Nations was invited to offer advice is ambitious and forward looking. It outlines specific plans for reform, investment and the private sector, tackling corruption and for transitioning Iraq from a crisis context to sustainable development. It prioritises job creation, greater governorate-level participation, rehabilitation and reconstruction of liberated areas and the return of the displaced. It focuses on strengthening security, fighting terrorism, enhancing law and order and the rule of law. Special attention will be given to resolving pending challenges with the Kurdistan Region, including the issues of budget allocation and financial resources, oil and disputed areas. For this programme to be achieved, Iraq will require the continued support of the international community but also sustained political support from political leaders and parties within the parliament. On international relations, I commend Iraq’s new leaders who have acted without delay in engaging regional governments – fostering bilateral relations, tackling regional challenges such as terrorism, water issues, and discussing economic cooperation and investment for the reconstruction of Iraq.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Among the priority tasks for the new parliament is preparing the upcoming provincial council elections. With the expanding role of provincial councils in governance, the candidate choices made freely and fairly by the electorate will be extremely important for the country’s development. I welcome the Electoral Commission’s announcement of resumption of the biometric voter registration process. And I am pleased that for the first time since 2005, the Kirkuk governorate will participate in these elections – a critical step on the path to the normalisation of Kirkuk’s status and of politics in the governorate. Negotiations on the reactivation of the Kirkuk Provincial Council continue, with United Nations-supported discussions between local political actors from the Kurdish, Arab and Turkmen communities.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am pleased that several female candidates received a high number of votes within their political lists, and that 19 female candidates were elected to parliament on this basis. Our expectation for the future is that the 25% quota which currently guarantees 83 seats for women, will represent a minimum threshold, not a fixed number. I urge political leaders to ensure the full participation of women within the new government and their representation at the highest levels in Iraq’s political and decision-making structures in the parliament and the government. I very much regret that no female or minority candidates have yet been appointed to ministerial positions; and while I welcome assurances that Prime Minister Abdul-Mahdi will include them in future governmental posts, I feel that an opportunity has been missed. Women must get a full chance to play key roles in shaping the post-Da’esh future of their country. Equality and empowerment of women must be central to all peace, justice, legislative, reconciliation and reform efforts.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Democracy and improved standards of living cannot be realised within an environment of persistent insecurity. Although Da’esh’s so-called caliphate has been defeated, the terrorist organisation continues to pose a threat. Iraqi Security Forces and the Popular Mobilisation Forces have maintained constant pressure on the remaining Da’esh presence and activities across North, Central and West Iraq throughout the year through successive security clearance operations. Challenges however remain for improving the overall security environment. The new government must reform and rehabilitate its security sector, putting it firmly under state control.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The United Nations works hard to support Iraq and its people. With the government formation process now close to completion, we hope that the country will continue on its journey to democracy. We will continue to offer advice and engagement. We will continue to work in partnership with the government and the people of Iraq to build progress. A prosperous future built on democracy and the rule of law – an Iraq in which the rights and needs of every citizen are recognized and fulfilled.

Thank you.

(Source: UN)

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraq:

(Source: UN)

(Picture: Finger pressing a new career start button, from Olivier Le Moal/Shutterstock)

By Ahmed Mousa Jiyad, Iraq/ Development Consultancy & Research, Guest Editor IJCIS-SI, Email: mou-jiya(at)online.no.

2018 is, in more than one aspect, rather an important year; It commemorates the 60 anniversary of 14 July revolution 1958; it registers thirty years of ending the eight years long Iran-Iraq war; it counts fifteen years of the country’ invasion by the Anglo-American lead troops; it also marks a ten year period of grand opening of the petroleum sector to foreign companies; it witnessed the almost end of the “triple shocks” that paralyzed the country and finally, it testifies a minor change of the dysfunctional democracy and plaguing Kleptocracy.

This is the “Introduction” I wrote, as the Guest Editor, for the special issue of the academic International Journal of Contemporary Iraqi Studies-IJCIS, due for release before year ends (by Intellect Books, UK)*

14 July 1958 revolution is still vivid in the memories of many of us who actually witnessed and lived that day and what followed to date. Much has been written about July Revolution during the six decades since that day, but for 2018 two important observations worth making.

First, despite a relatively short tenure of General Abd al-Karim Qasim government (14 July 1958 to 8 February 1963) its record of social economic and development achievements were not matched by achievements of all regimes since Qasim’ assassination, particularly those of post 2003. An article published on the local akhabaar news-site[1] lists most of Qasim achievements, which should make every post 2003 politician, decision maker, parliamentarian, minister among others feel ashamed.

Second, Iraq witnessed during July this year a popular mobilizations in all southern oil producing provinces protesting against lack of employment, deteriorated standard of living, insufficient basic social services especially electricity and safe drinking water and condemning the corruption in the country. In a way, July-September 2018 popular protest vindicates July 1958 revolution achievements comparative to the apparent failures of all post 2003 governments.

Thirty years ago Iran-Iraq war ended; a war that caused too much death, devastation, sufferings and pushed Iraq on the brinks of degeneration; further wars and sever comprehensive sanction led eventually to invading the country.

American and British troops invaded the country in 2003, toppled Sadam régime and, again, brought too much death and destruction but with dismantling most state institutions, inflict serious blows to social fabric and institutionalized sectarianism and ethnicity. Over these 15 years, much of oil export revenues were the target of an unprecedented cronyism and corruption, mostly Kleptocracy (defined here as formalized corruption by formal entities and influential political groups and oligarchy) with meager, if any, of actual economic and social development as manifested by spreading July 2018 demonstrations that left many dead, injured and good number of arrests.[2]

The security situation in Basra deteriorated dramatically on 4 September when the number of killed demonstrators rose to 9 with many more injured on both sides i.e. the demonstrators and security forces, and a number of local government building set on fire.[3] By 7 September number of fatalities in Basra increased to 15 dead and 190 injured with more building including private, foreign consulate and offices of some political parties put ablaze.[4]

Post 2003 democracy was basically confined to national and provincial elections, which were run on regular intervals, but none was without accusations, irregularities and corruption practices. National election of May 2018 has been the most challenged and precarious among them all.  Election results were not approved until three months after the election day even with recounts and involvement of High Judicial Council and the Federal Supreme Court-FSC; the term of the parliament ended on 30 June and the new parliament remains in limbo and was not convened and thus nominating the heads of the presidencies was delayed and the same applies to forming the new government.

FSC approved the recounted results on 19 August 2018 indicating the start of the constitutional process for forming the new government. The new parliament was finally convened, amid rather a different and also divisive political landscape post 2003, on 3 September. Not until 16 September the election of the president of the parliament was elected and on 2 October Dr. Barham Salih was elected the president of the republic- representing serious setback for Barzani’s party-  and on the same day Salih  asked Adil Abdul Mahdi, a pro privatization, the Kurds and IOCs,  to form the government within 30 days!

Provincial elections are scheduled for year ends unless they are impacted by the negative environment that tarnished the latest recent national election; the current political confused order would suggest strongly the likelihood of postponing the provincial election to further date.   But these too were and could be subject to even more irregularities with influential forms within sectarianism, tribalism and religious personality cult. Moreover, the aftermath of July demonstrations could effectively impacts holding, the process and the outcome of the elections.

The local parliamentary election in Kurdistan Region in Iraq was held over 28-30 September and again with different contested claims on its transparency, credibility and results.

2018 marks ten years of the big-push strategy or grand opening of the upstream petroleum for foreign investment and direct involvement that validates, initially, the school of thoughts that invasion was all about oil but the actual development questions that validation. The big-push strategy began by converting a production sharing agreement, was concluded during Sadam’ era when Iraq was under the severest sanction in history, into a long term service contract.

That conversion sets the main premises of a hybrid model contract that was adopted through four major bidding rounds. However, upstream petroleum since the cabinet shift of August 2016 witnessed a departure from previous practices by the return of deals concluded behind closed doors, lack of transparency and adoption of a net revenues sharing model contract that gives IOCs much more a share than offered under the previous four bid rounds.

2018 witnessed the beginning of the end of the triple-shocks i.e., low oil prices, Da’esh presence and retaking Kirkuk back from KRG seizure.

Da’esh (or ISIS/ISL) began by controlling Mosul in mid-2014 then moved to many parts of other governorates particularly Kirkuk, Salahuldeen, Dayala, Al-Anbar and came close to Baghdad. That caused untold destruction, killing, internal displacement and threatened the security and integrity of the country. The military operations to defeat Da’esh drained serious part of the annual state budgets in addition to officially estimated $100 billion reconstruction requirements.[5]

What made the situation even more alarming and drastic are the dramatic decline in oil prices and the prevailed motion of “lower for longer” that coincided with Da’esh attacks. Iraq oil export prices per barrel declined from $102.61 in June 2014 to $22.21 in January 2016 then improved gradually to exceed $74 during September 2018.

Further deterioration in Iraq financial situation was caused by the cessation of Kirkuk oil export when KRG took control of the province’s oil facilities. Though that seizure ended during the fourth quarter of 2017, export from Kirkuk still on hold at the time of writing.

The work on this special issue took eighteen months of concerted efforts, follow-up and back and forth communication involving all editorial colleagues, publisher’s team, anonymous reviewers and contributors. Well-deserved sincere and wholehearted words of thanks and appreciation are due to all of them.

Ahmed Mousa Jiyad provides review of the development of the Iraqi petroleum sector during the period 2008-2018 as post 2003 period witnessed grand opening of the sector for International Oil Companies- IOCs, particularly for upstream sub-sector. The article argues that, analytically and empirically, a sub-sector focused policy impacts, negatively, the development in that sub-sector, in the sector itself and on the sector’s contribution to the development of the national economy. The outcomes would exacerbate structural imbalances, vulnerabilities to external factors and increase dependency on oil revenues, which prohibits desirable structural change, diversification and transformation.

He also highlights the presence and impacts of the “triple shocks” combined with the prospect of “lower-for- longer” oil price that prevailed almost a year ago, contributing to continue deepening the fiscal crisis of the state and elevated the “fear-factor” among Iraqi decision makers. That, with apparent human, systemic and institutional capacity-gaps limitations resulted in Iraq giving important concessions to IOCs without having tangible benefits in return.

Juman Kubba asserts that Iraq, over the past fifteen years, took huge leaps backwards. Thus, she argued it is very important for politicians, historians, experts and judicial bodies to analyse what happened, why it happened, who is responsible and how to hold them accountable. But what is more important now is to ensure that Iraqi society recovers from the calamities of the past fifteen years as well as the preceding thirty years; and that the country’s resources are used to serve Iraqis and provide them with good living conditions and never again be wasted and dissipated. Accordingly, here article focuses on the pathway of healing Iraqi society from the aftermath of decades of war, poverty and immense suffering.

Restoring good education and healthcare is the first step on the pathway of healing and recovery. Also, neutralizing and reversing several dangerous post conflict societal problems that have arisen over the years such as traumatized war children, war injured young men, drug abuse among youth and alarming increase in neoplastic disease just to name a few.  Given the weakness of the government, corruption, and contradictions between legislation and jurisdiction, one must consider new non-traditional approaches to solving these problems; a few are presented in the article. The success of any future government should be measured by how much it can ameliorate the essential life sustaining services for ordinary citizens.

Monetary policy and particularly the role of the Central Bank have important function in the development of the country. Debating this issue, our late colleague Muwafaq Hassan Mahmood  addresses four topics; the first offers an empirical examination of the performance of the banking sector during the period 2010-2015; the second discusses banking sector reform requirements; The third topic will shed light on: i) the environments under which the Iraqi banking industry operates highlighting the limitations and obstacles that impedes the sector’s growth and ii) the investment environment and whether it’s an attractive for the business community to invest and doing businesses in Iraq. Finally, he examined the CBI’s dollar window impacts on the banking industry.

Human skills, systemic and institutional capacity gaps impact the performance of the petroleum sector and these have been the subject of international cooperation between Iraq and other entities e.g., countries, organizations and even companies. Usama Karim article focuses on one of such initiatives i.e., the establishment of the European Iraqi Energy Centre-EUIEC. He argues that knowledge acquisition and development leading to such endeavour is a process that takes long time and much resources needing meticulous planning. This process can be facilitated by the use of expertise and technology transferred by international companies and their networks engaged in ramping up energy production in Iraq.

EUIEC has four components, however, the article elaborates on the research component but Karim suggests that the final EUIEC organization, structure and facilities integrating all its components will require further efforts from the consultants, lead stakeholders and experts in setting up such complex endeavour building up on preliminary results from this study.[6]

Greg Muttitt article reviews what is now known about discussions of oil that took place during the invasion planning and execution, based on documents that have been released in the fifteen years since.

He examines the nature of the strategic objectives, how the US and UK governments planned to achieve them, and how they decided to talk about them in public. Reflecting on this evidence will allow us to revisit the question: was oil a major reason for the war and invasion of Iraq?

Federalism, an outcome of the regime change brought by the 2003 invasion and was enshrined in 2005 Constitution, needs fixing. Since 2003, Luay al-Khatteeb argues, Iraq’s experiment with federalism has in many ways benefitted Iraq, though, he asserts, functioning federalism was never given a chance to be tested in Iraq as there are various factors that have contributed to hinder the formation of a Federal Iraq. Thus, because implementation has been imperfect, it has not solved Iraq’s fundamental economic flaws, which promote the waste of oil revenues, promote oil revenue dependence and allow for local level corruption to flourish. This situation can still be remedied, he argued, but that requires time and may take generations to materialise.

Omar Eljoumayle article summarises his PhD dissertation in economic development of contemporary Iraq. The article traces the role of institutions, institutional policies and how the rapid and frequent institutional changes have driven the Iraqi economy for decades. Though applying the New Institutional Economic-NIE to Iraq expands the range of choices of institutions that could be examined, the choices have been narrowed down by revolving around three central issues: agriculture, oil and wars. The picture painfully presented is one of abrupt and instantaneous institutional changes, through which institutions were repeatedly subject to reshuffle and facing changing circumstances. Consequently these changes have severely affected the path of economic development in Iraq.

The book review part of this volume covers to recently published, in Arabic, important books: one on Iraq’s nuclear program and the other on the Iraqi economy.

While it gives me a great professional scholarly satisfaction to be the guest editor for this issue I regret to report that our colleague and contributor, Muwafaq Hassan Mahmood, passed away on 28 June 2018. Despite his illness and he and I knew he would be not with us for long,  Muwafaq (Abu Rand) was very determined and enthusiastic to deliver his article and honors his commitment before leaving us. I have known Abu Rand since mid-sixties and his early departure was indeed a devastating painful loss. My colleagues, Professor Tareq Ismael (Calgary, Canada) and Professor Bill Haddad (California, USA), and I convey our wholehearted condolences to his family, friends and colleagues and we sincerely thank Muwafaq for his contribution to this special issue.

Ahmed Mousa Jiyad,

Guest Editor, IJCIS-SI,

Norway

4 October 2018

*Jiyad, Ahmed Mousa, Introduction, IJCIS, Volume 12, number 3, 2018 (forthcoming)

[1] 1958 revolution the 60th anniversary (Performance of Qasim in akhabaar  http://www.akhbaar.org/home/2018/7/246337.html (in Arabic) accessed 14 July 2018

[2] As on 22 July the Iraqi Human Rights Commission announced 13 dead, 729 injured, including 460 from security forces, 757 arrested temporarily and release later and  91 government and private buildings and vehicles were damaged. http://www.akhbaar.org/home/2018/7/246645.html  accessed 23 July 2018.

[3] As reported by IOR, 5 September 2018

[4] http://www.akhbaar.org/home/2018/9/248576.html Accessed 8 September 2018

[5] On Da’esh effect, Kuwait conference and cost of reconstruction see , $100 billion for reconstruction http://www.iraq-businessnews.com/2018/02/12/video-iraq-seeks-100bn-for-post-is-reconstruction/

[6] Actually, I was the leader of a team that prepared the “Formulation study for the EU-Iraq Centre for Economic Partnership and Business Cooperation (DCI-ASIA part)”, which was commissioned and funded by the European Commission-EC during the period January-June 2012. The study resulted in formulating and recommends the establishment of EUIEC with four major components: Research, Training, Energy Debate and Business Cooperation. The EC adopted our proposal and started the implementation in 2014 through the Service contract notice “Iraq-Baghdad: ICI+ — EU–Iraq energy centre (EUIEC) 2014/S 074-126988”

Mr Jiyad is an independent development consultant, scholar and Associate with the former Centre for Global Energy Studies (CGES), London. He was formerly a senior economist with the Iraq National Oil Company and Iraq’s Ministry of Oil, Chief Expert for the Council of Ministers, Director at the Ministry of Trade, and International Specialist with UN organizations in Uganda, Sudan and Jordan. He is now based in Norway (Email: mou-jiya(at)online.no, Skype ID: Ahmed Mousa Jiyad). Read more of Mr Jiyad’s biography here.

By John Lee.

Iraq’s National Investment Commission (NIC) has identified five main issues hindering investment in Iraq:

  1. Not applying the One Stop Shop (OSS) law as it should be applied and denying the OSS representatives the required authorities to decision making;
  2. Difficulties in allocating lands and being subject to interpretation and wishes of various bodies;
  3. Problems with lack of funding and the banking system;
  4. Political quotas and interference in the provincial councils; and,
  5. The spread of administrative corruption.

The full statement from the NIC can be read below:

The National Investment Commission holds an elaborated meeting in the presence of the Secretary General of  the Ministers Council 

The National Investment Commission (NIC) held on Tuesday 27/11/2018 an expanded workshop devoted to discussing the investment map of Iraq for 2019 in the presence of the Secretary General of the Council of Ministers Dr. Mahdi Alallaq, the head of the Secretariat of the Coordinating Committee in the Provinces Mr. Turhan Al Mufti and Chairmen of a number of Provincial Investment Commissions in addition to representatives of a number of Ministries and concerned state institutions.

NIC Chairman emphasized in his speech that this workshop comes to complete the first meeting, which included representatives of investment activity in various ministries and departments to discuss the investment map for 2019 in response to the invitation of the Prime Minister Dr. Adel Abdul Mahdi to discuss the reality of investment situation in Iraq and develop effective solutions for issues facing investment projects in all governorates across the country. .

He also determined five main issues that participated in hindering investment in Iraq, three of them are related to investment law. The first, is not applying the One Stop Shop (OSS) law as it should be applied and denying the OSS representatives the required authorities to decision making. The second, is difficulties in allocating lands and being subject to interpretation and wishes of various bodies. Funding and banking systems represent the third issue for not supporting economic projects.

Two other big problems deviated the investment path and its law, Political quotas and interference in the provincial councils and the negative impact on investment work, as well as the spread of some administrative corruption.

NIC Chairman called for the importance of developing realistic and feasible plans for the next phase due to the possibility of world oil prices fluctuation, which forces those who practice economic activities in the country to work in accordance with the system of diversified and non-monolithic economy and bridging the widening gap between the parties involved in this activity on one hand and owners of capital, companies and businessmen on the other hand. This reflects a lack of accurate understanding to the spirit of the articles of the investment law.

Dr. Mahdi Al-Alallaq, Secretary-General of the Council of Ministers reviewed a number of issues that are challenging the investment process in Iraq, including the increasing unemployment rates and total dependence on the government sector instead of the private sector represented in large inflation in the number of workers in the form of contracts and daily wages in the various government departments. Fixing them in permanent jobs as governmental employees became a real entitlement to them but represents a major embarrassment to the budget.

All this is due to weak legislations that encourages working for the private sector such as social security and financial stability that enhance the workers feeling being equal to any governmental employee. Also, many relevant state departments are very conservatives regarding allocated lands for investment which in time created a huge obstacle to go on with investment projects.

He called to promote the investment opportunities already presented in Al Kuwait International Conference for Rebuilding Iraq last February and earned a big international interest.  He also assured the Council of Minsters’ support for those opportunities being the ideal solution for the Iraqi economy in this phase.

the head of the Secretariat of the Coordinating Commission for the Provinces, Mr. Turhan Al Mufti, asked the heads of the Provinces Investment Commissions to suggest the required mechanisms to deal with the investment departments in the ministries and other state institutions and thus contribute to bringing the views closer between the two parties, stressing that the third meeting will be between the concerned parties in investment in ministries and to accelerate adopting the necessary decisions to achieve the expected qualitative boom in the investment sector in Iraq in 2019

NIC Chairmen listened to a number of proposals and opinions from the heads of the provinces investment commissions, during which a number of things were covered, including the need to facilitate the bureaucratic procedures that the project goes through and the number of entities that inspect it and blackmailing investors and delays which makes many investors leave the country.  They also called for reducing external interventions in projects and reactivate the Department of Investors’ Protection.

(Source: NIC)

Parliamentary committees to investigate currency damage and money laundering and the building of the new Central Bank
12/2/2018
The Council of Representatives is seeking to start an investigation with the Central Bank’s administration during this week on three files.

The first concerns the sinking of seven billion dinars in Rafidain Bank, the second with the corruption of the currency window and the third with the cost of building the new Central Bank.

A member of the Finance Committee in the House of Representatives Jamal Couger in a statement to (the extent) that "the Presidency of the House of Representatives commissioned our Committee to follow up the drowning and waste of funds in Rafidain Bank and funds allocated to the building of the new Central Bank."

The House of Representatives last week formed a fact-finding committee on the project of the new building of the Central Bank of Iraq and the sinking of seven billion dinars in Rafidain Bank.

The cost of building the new bank 800 million dollars, and design up to 30 million dollars, where these figures raised large reactions within the House of Representatives and a large criticism against the administration of the Central Bank of Iraq.

"In the beginning there were intentions to the presidency of the parliament by adding three members of the committees of legal and impartiality to the committee composed of members of the Finance Committee parliamentary to investigate the files of the Central Bank," pointing out that "the Presidency of the parliament finally reached a complete conviction to refer the file fully to Parliamentary Finance Committee ".

The governor of the Central Bank Ali Al-Aliq had confirmed before the House of Representatives on 12 November 2018 damaged nearly seven billion Iraqi dinars as a result of the entry of rainwater to the coffers of Rafidain Bank in 2013, which led to the damage of banknotes.

As a result of this information, the Alliance bloc demanded that it be hosted again to hear the exact details of the sinking of the funds. The issue also raised the file of the new Central Bank building.

A member of the Finance Committee in the House of Representatives that "the Finance Committee in the House of Representatives on Wednesday will distribute its members on three subcommittees will be the first task to search for funds allocated to the building of the Central Bank,

and the second dedicated to investigate the sinking of seven billion dinars, and the third will be expensive To open a comprehensive investigation on the sale of currency auction. "

The leader of the Sadrist movement, Moqtada al-Sadr, said in a tweet on his personal account in Twitter the incident of the damage of the amount of seven billion dinars, "a small point in the sea of ​​corruption and spoilers," where he said: "And their excuses only refuted and their survival only a number if the people expose them and corruption abhors them "He said.

The Kurdish MP in the parliament that "the number of members of each of these subcommittees between six to seven deputies will be set timetables to host officials and administrators of the Central Bank to reach the truths.

The Supreme Judicial Council announced more than 15 days ago Rusafa Court investigating the sinking of 7 billion Iraqi dinars by rain water, stressing that it will hold accountable all those who contributed to this process, which caused the waste of public money.

MP Jamal Kouger, the head of the Kurdistan Islamic Union bloc, continues to speak about the central bank’s file.

"The subcommittees will at the beginning of their work collect documents and documents on all investigation files to reach real tangible results of the loss and drowning of money, corruption in the currency auction, For the Central Bank building ".

The late Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid laid out the engineering designs of the building of the new Central Bank of Iraq located in the area of ​​Gardaya overlooking the Tigris River, which consists of (34) floors in addition to two floors underground.

"There are documents owned by some deputies will be obtained by the three sub-committees have to do with the investigations that will be conducted with the management of the Central Bank," he said, stressing that "each of these three files has its own privacy."

After the talk in the parliament, the Central Bank issued a clarification on the sinking of seven billion dinars (six million dollars), saying that the incident occurred in Rafidain Bank in 2013 and the subject was addressed in a timely manner in accordance with the legal formulations, expressing his deep surprise to raise this issue after five years.

On the file of the building of the Central Bank, the Kurdish MP shows that "some believe that the funds allocated greatly exaggerated, although a building designed according to international accounts and controls may be one of the demands of the bank and international criticism," calling for "not to rush to take decisions against the Central Bank before Ensure the accuracy of information and data available. "

But believes that "one of the most files that will be raised within the parliamentary finance committee to investigate with the Central Bank is the file auction sale of currency and the major corruption."

"There are deputies who talked about the existence of large corruption operations taking place during the auction sale of currency with the involvement of banks and figures accused of money laundering," stressing that "these three committees need two weeks to complete their final investigations."

Al-Madaa published a file on documents compiled by the late politician Ahmed Chalabi and later known as "Chalabi’s Files" in early November, 2015 revealed the existence of administrative and financial corruption, money laundering and smuggling of hard currency through the currency auction at the Central Bank.

The Supreme Judicial Council has decided to set up a judicial investigation body in 2015 to consider the documents, but has not announced the results of its investigations so far.

A member of the Finance Committee that "among the things we will discuss in the investigation of the amounts allocated to the building of the Central Bank is the conditions and controls of the bank and international criticism," and wondered "Are the funds of this project dedicated to the borrowing process of the IMF and the World Bank?

"We are looking for answers to these questions from officials at the Federal Reserve Bank to inform us of all these details before writing the final report," said a member of the parliamentary finance committee, adding that his committee "does not know the details of the new central bank building."

The bloc has been threatened in the House of Representatives earlier to dismiss the central bank governor Ali al-Alaq from office and to refer him to the judiciary unless he provides convincing answers on the health of sinking and the destruction of seven billion dinars in 2013, considering that the discrepancy in the claims of the governor gives clear evidence of theft of these funds In an orderly manner.

Another member of the parliamentary finance committee says that his committee "intends to investigate the outlets selling the auction of hard currency and sinking and wasting seven billion dinars," pointing out that "the amounts allocated to the building of the Central Bank does not take great interest in the Commission."

The committee member Haneen Qaddou said in a statement to Al-Mada that "the issue concerns the need to visit the project site and see the explanation of the resident engineers and the workers in the building with the presence of some advisers to reach the cost of construction."

He added that "the auction of currency is being exploited by some quarters and personalities that are smuggling capital out of Iraq," stressing "the possibility of developing mechanisms and controls capable of reducing the manipulation and smuggling that take place in the auction currency."

Despite the formation of judicial committees and follow-up Commission integrity, but many of the owners of companies accused of money laundering have not been held accountable.

As for the size of corruption resulting from the laundering and smuggling of funds, the deputy of the Fatah bloc that "the money smuggled out of Iraq is very large," pointing out that "the Finance Committee in the House of Representatives will investigate with officials of the Central Bank on this file and corruption operations taking place "He said.

He stressed that "a group of members of the Parliamentary Finance Committee are determined to continue their work in detecting corruption in many departments and institutions of the Iraqi state," pointing out that the Committee "rejects dictates from any party or party aims to compliment a person or a party at the expense of transparency."

The scourge of corruption after 2003 hit many departments and institutions of the Iraqi state, causing the waste and loss of more than 800 billion dollars, according to specialists in the economic sector.

"The subject of questioning the governor of the Central Bank depends on the report to be prepared by the Finance Committee in the House of Representatives and then introduced in parliament," and expected that the Committee "to visit the Central Bank and its new building next week."

He added that his committee "is trying to work with new mechanisms to enable them to reach corrupt in all departments and institutions through the doors of exchange," stressing that "it is necessary to activate the principle of oversight in the House of Representatives during the current session."

Among the things that will be held accountable the Governor of the Central Bank is to put his name on the currency, which caused a wave of anger in many political blocs and public opinion.

The Iraqi activists launched a campaign on social networking sites, to ridicule the declaration of the governor of the Iraqi Central Bank of 7 billion dinars and also put his name on the local currency, during the past weeks.

On the other hand, the deputy of the alliance of Badr al-Zayadi said that "the parliamentary finance committee was authorized by the Presidency of the House of Representatives to meet with the Central Bank administration several days ago to hear from them about the funds that sank and wasted and the existing imbalance."

Parliament’s moves came as the parliamentary and government committees (budget-review experts) suspended their weekly meetings on amendments to the bill until further notice of the sudden drop in oil prices.

Oil prices have recently fallen sharply, with losses estimated at about a third of their value after the sale of Brent crude oil to about $ 59, marking a decline of almost 32% when compared to the price of $ 86.29 at the beginning of October last

The General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers announced on October 28, 2018, the approval of the government on the draft financial budget for 2019, and transmitted to the House of Representatives, based on the provisions of articles (61 / item I and 80 / item II) of the Constitution.

"The speaker of the House of Representatives formed a parliamentary committee in order to verify the imbalance in the work of the Central Bank of Iraq, including the subject of financial conversion (auction currency) and banks that deal with them.

He adds that "the Finance Committee will submit its final reports soon to the Presidency of the House of Representatives to submit to the deputies to take what is necessary against the defaulters," asserting that "the sale of the currency by the central bank to specific banks."

He adds that "the currency auction may be allocated to these banks for the purpose of obtaining financial interest," asserting that "the investigations to be conducted by the Finance Committee in the House of Representatives will get through to know the involved and corrupt."

https://www.sotaliraq.com/2018/12/02/3-%D9%84%D8%AC%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D9%84%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%8A%D9%91%D 8%A9-%D9%84%D9%84%D8%AA%D8%AD%D9%82%D9%8A%D9%82-%D8%A8%D8%AA%D9%84%D9%81-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D9%85%D9%84%D8%A9-%D9%88%D8%BA/

Newspaper: Iraq freezes the funds of the bank and financial institutions belonging to Iran
11/27/2018

newspaper Okaz, said Iraq has decided to freeze bank funds and financial institutions affiliated to Iran and referral procedures to ban the Bank has branches in Iraq.



"It has decided to freeze the transfer of immovable and immovable assets and economic resources of Sina Bank and the Bahman Group of Iran," the Saudi daily Okaz said,
citing the committee for freezing terrorist funds in Iraq.

"The decision was based on the AML / Terrorists in accordance with the powers vested in the Commission ".




She added that "the procedures for the implementation of the ban on transactions and activities on the branches of the Iranian Bank of Parisian in Iraq have been referred to the Iraqi Central Bank to take appropriate fundamental measures."




The Central Bank of Iraq has prevented its financial institutions from dealing with private banks and financial companies on the terrorism list that launder money.

https://www.alsumaria.tv/news/253702…D9%84%D8%A7/ar

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)

The European Union has adopted today a €56.5 million package to promote sustainable job creation and strengthen support to refugees, internally displaced populations and their host communities in Iraq.

This brings the total EU development assistance mobilised in favour of Iraq in 2018 to €129 million and it is part of the €400 million pledged by the EU at the Iraq Reconstruction Conference held in Kuwait in February 2018.

Iraq is facing enormous challenges to rebuild the areas affected by the conflict and assist people in need. The purpose of the programme adopted today is to contribute to the development of the urban areas of Mosul and Basra, and of the rural areas of Nineveh governorate.

This will help returning displaced populations, vulnerable youth and women find income opportunities and obtain services to respond to their essential needs. The assistance will also be used to promote youth entrepreneurship notably via start-up services. By supporting sustainable and inclusive economic growth in Iraq, the help is delivering also on the Sustainable Development Goals and the priorities of the Government of Iraq.

Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica said:

“The EU is delivering on its commitments made last February at the Iraq Reconstruction Conference in Kuwait. This new support will create opportunities and jobs, helping some of the most vulnerable communities to get back on their feet and rebuild their lives.”

The measure adopted today also includes a €15 million contribution to the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis, the central aim of which is to provide a coherent and swift response to the needs arising from the massive displacement and returns caused by both the Syrian and the internal Iraqi crises.

This action aims to enhance public service delivery in sectors like education and health. It will enhance access to livelihood opportunities for refugees, internally displaced persons, returnees and their communities. It will also uphold the long-standing Iraqi policy of protection and support of people residing and seeking protection in the country.

Today’s measure complements the €72.5 million package adopted last October to foster stabilisation and socio-economic development through support to basic service delivery and improved living conditions in conflict areas. This package included measures to reactivate economic activity and entrepreneurship, assistance to facilitate the clearance of lands previously contaminated by explosives, and support to reforms in the energy sector.

These measures are in line with the 2018 EU strategy for Iraq and the Council Conclusions of 19 May 2017 on Iraq as a pilot country for implementing the Humanitarian-Development Nexus, and reaffirm the EU commitments as stated during the Kuwait Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq. The total EU development assistance to Iraq amounts to €309.8 million since the beginning of the crisis.

(Source: EU)

(Picture: Realistic wavy flag of European Union, from NiglayNik/Shutterstock)

ImPORTANT We will disclose to you new details of the decision of the Parliament to stop the decisions of Abbadi
11/21/2018

A deputy within the Fatah Alliance said today that the decision of the House of Representatives to stop all decisions of the caretaker government of Haidar Abadi will not include the head of the national security apparatus Qassem Araji and national security adviser Irfan Al-Hayali, while the appointment of Araji and Hayali was through the current Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi .


"The decision to stop the decisions of the caretaker government included all the appointments and contracts concluded between July 1 and October 24," Al-Hamdi said in a press statement.

"All decisions adopted by Haider al-Abadi have not been excluded, Pointing out that "the appointment of Araji and Hayali adviser and the presidency of national security was through the current Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi."




And revealed that "the appointments of special grades of Abdul Mahdi and his decisions are not covered by the decision of the House of Representatives, which was voted on today," in the sense of each issued by the time of Abdul Mahdi, it is true, indicating that "former Prime Minister Haider Abadi will remain in the presidency of the popular crowd as it was commissioned by New government ".




Prime Minister Adel Abdi al-Mahdi decided to take over former prime minister Haidar al-Abadi as chairman of the popular crowd, while former interior minister Qassim al-Araji was named head of the national security apparatus, and former defense minister Irfan al-Hayali as adviser to national security.

https://www.yaum8.com/2018/11/22/%D9…-%D9%84%D9%82/