The Lebanese Transparency Association - No Corruption (LTA), the national chapter of Transparency International, today expressed its deep disappointment with the response of the Lebanese executive and legislative branches to the demands of protesters who have taken to streets across the country for over a week.
To resolve the acute lack of trust between citizens and public institutions, LTA calls on the government to urgently pass the legislation and decrees needed to effectively combat corruption.
Specifically, the government should:
- Issue the implementation decree of the “Right to Access to Information Law”, according the provisions stipulated therein;
- Adopt the National Anti-Corruption Strategy, which has been in development for eight years;
- Issue the petroleum registry decree;
- Adopt the Public Procurement Law and send it to Parliament.
The above-mentioned actions should be taken in line with international anti-corruption best practices and allow open governance in the public sector. They should not in any case limit access to information and transparency in the public sector.
LTA reiterate its call to the Lebanese Parliament to keep its sessions open and conduct the needed committee meetings with attendance by local experts and within a defined timeframe as they discuss and vote on important pieces of legislation. These include legislation on:
- Combatting corruption in the public sector and creating a national authority against corruption;
- Establishing a special court for the misappropriation of public funds;
- Lifting banking secrecy on all present and former presidents, ministers, parliamentarians and high ranking public officials;
- Lifting immunity on the current and former ministers, parliamentarians and public officials who deal with public funds;
- Illicit enrichment and asset disclosure;
- Regularization of the Court of Accounts;
- Amending the "Law on the Regularization of the Central Inspection Authority";
- Conflict of interests;
- Asset recovery;
- Strengthening the independence of the judiciary.
If Lebanese government institutions want to signal their serious intent to tackle corruption to local and international communities, they have to take urgent and immediate action.
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