KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani chaired a cabinet meeting on Wednesday to discuss the implementation of the KRG’s ambitious Reform Law.

The meeting of cabinet ministers was attended by the heads of the Financial Monitoring Diwan and Commission of Integrity in Kurdistan, as well as the President of Public Prosecutions.

Prime Minister Barzani emphasised the significance of the KRG’s modernisation efforts, which will enhance the efficiency of all government sectors and streamline the delivery of services to the public. He called on all parties to support the reform agenda.

A high-level committee was established to oversee implementation, and the Prime Minister requested that ministers submit recommendations on the prompt and effective enacting of the Reform Law within 15 days.

The Prime Minister also highlighted the role of financial monitoring authorities, the Commission of Integrity, and Public Prosecutions in supervising the reform process.

During the meeting, it was agreed that the cabinet, as part of its core responsibilities, will consider the restructuring the Kurdistan Region’s revenues and expenditures to bring greater transparency to the oil and gas sectors.

(Source: KRG)

KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani and Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani chaired a meeting of the cabinet on Wednesday to discuss implementing best practice for the taxation system of the Kurdistan Region.

The ministers reviewed an internal pilot project tasked with developing a new legal and auditing framework. The framework updates current auditing practices and increases the transparency of the taxation system.

Prime Minister Barzani emphasised his cabinet’s commitment to an ambitious reform agenda, notably tax revenue reform in the Kurdistan Region, which will ensure fair implementation of the system and provide the government with the enhanced enforcement tools.

The cabinet also approved a project designed to improve monitoring and auditing of government and private sector budgets, the facilitation of which will be supported by the Ministry of Finance and Economy.

During the cabinet meeting, the KRG also approved the merging of the High Institute for Audits and Accounting with the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, bolstering their research capabilities and raising scientific standards.

Prime Minister Barzani called for everyone to work together to ensure that public property and government vehicles are used in the best interest of the public and in accordance with government rules and regulations.

(Source: KRG)

From AFP. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq protests swell with youth angry at slow pace of reform

Protests escalated across Iraq’s capital Baghdad as demonstrators sealed off streets with burning tyres in outrage at the government’s slow pace of reform.

View on YouTube

By Christine McCaffray van den Toorn and Raad Alkadiri for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

US-Iran tensions shift Iraq from brink of reform to brink of war

Rising US-Iranian tensions over the past week have seemingly brought the two sides closer to outright confrontation than at any time in the past four decades.

Tehran’s vow to take revenge for the US drone strike Jan. 3 that killed the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, Qasem Soleimani, along with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), or Hashid Shaabi, last week in Baghdad has been met with equally bellicose statements by US President Donald Trump, who sent 3,500 additional troops to the Middle East after the assassination and promised that any Iranian action would be met with a massive US military response.

Click here to read the full story.

By Ali Mamouri for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq’s political crisis is getting increasingly deeper while the security situation is steadily declining, pushing the country toward further uncertainty and possible political collapse.

What are the conflicting forces and sources of the crisis, and what are the possible scenarios for Iraq’s immediate future?

Click here to read the full story.

By Daniel L Byman, for Brookings Institution.

The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq is facing serious unrest that is likely to force limited reforms in the political system but not wholesale change.

The current Iraqi power structure, with Iranian support, will use a mix of repression, cooptation, and limited concessions to weaken the opposition.

The opposition’s lack of clear leadership makes such tactics more likely to succeed.

The U.S. position in Iraq is weak, and Washington — even if it so desired — will probably have little impact on the events there.

The full report can be read here.

(Source: Brookings Institution)

KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani and Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani has today chaired a cabinet meeting to discuss the draft Reform Bill, a central pillar of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s agenda.

Developed as a joint initiative involving all parties in the government, the Reform Bill includes a series of measures designed to provide more certainty and accountability on salaries, pensions and allowances for public servants.

Discussing the Bill, the Prime Minister confirmed that as well as providing more security for public servants, the Bill would also serve to streamline public expenditure by ensuring only public workers eligible for benefits receive them.

The Prime Minister noted that the Reform Bill represents the latest in a series of steps taken to transform the civil service, increasing transparency and creating a fair system for hardworking public sector employees.

The cabinet approved the draft Reform Bill by a majority vote. The Bill has now been sent to the Kurdistan Parliament for debate.

(Source: KRG)

KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani and Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani has today chaired a cabinet meeting to discuss the draft Reform Bill, a central pillar of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s agenda.

Developed as a joint initiative involving all parties in the government, the Reform Bill includes a series of measures designed to provide more certainty and accountability on salaries, pensions and allowances for public servants.

Discussing the Bill, the Prime Minister confirmed that as well as providing more security for public servants, the Bill would also serve to streamline public expenditure by ensuring only public workers eligible for benefits receive them.

The Prime Minister noted that the Reform Bill represents the latest in a series of steps taken to transform the civil service, increasing transparency and creating a fair system for hardworking public sector employees.

The cabinet approved the draft Reform Bill by a majority vote. The Bill has now been sent to the Kurdistan Parliament for debate.

(Source: KRG)

By John Lee.

The Cabinet held its regular weekly meeting in Baghdad on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Adil Abd Al-Mahdi, and:

  • reviewed progress in implementing the reforms, initiatives and measures announced by the government to meet the legitimate demands of the protests;
  • approved a draft law on the accession of the Republic of Iraq to the 2005 Protocol to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation of 1988;
  • authorised the Minister of Transport to negotiate and sign a draft maritime transport agreement between the Government of Iraq and the Government of the State of Qatar;
  • approved a recommendation to the Council of Representatives (Parliament) to expedite the legislation on Iraq’s accession to the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards 1958 (the New York Convention), one of the key instruments in international arbitration.

(Source: Govt of Iraq)

By Christine McCaffray van den Toorn for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

After weeks of mass protests in Iraq, there are signs that the government’s patience is waning.

Its current response — a mixture of spending and reform promises combined with violent security measures (at least 320 have been killed and approximately 15,000 injured) — has not placated the demonstrators.

Scared by the threat to its interests, the political elite is shifting to sticks alone to quell the protests.

Click here to read the full story.