Lebanon: Stopping secrecy one law at a time

Lebanon is set to become the 95th country to adopt an access to information law that would empower its citizens to participate and question public and political affairs more closely.

Transparency International’s chapter in Lebanon, the Lebanese Transparency Association (LTA), has been instrumental in bringing the issue of access to information to the attention of lawmakers and government officials. In 2008, LTA helped found the National Network for the Right of Access to Information together with Lebanese Parliamentarians against Corruption and the Association pour la Défense des Droits et des Libertés. The initial success came in April 2009 when law-makers submitted an initial draft law to parliament. Four years later, the parliament’s legislative committee has approved the current draft law.

With a law into effect, Lebanese citizens, journalists and civil society groups would be able to obtain public information to keep government and other public bodies accountable. In the recently published Global Corruption Barometer 2013, 71 per cent of Lebanese surveyed said that corruption is a significant problem across the public sector. Further, more than two in three people surveyed said they saw the judiciary followed by parliament and political parties as the institutions most affected by corruption.

These results indicate that people demand transparency from their public institutions. Legislation that protects access to information and encourages administrative bodies to share information with citizens would also reinforce the people’s trust in the public sector and nurture a culture of integrity.

With the Arab Spring in full swing, Lebanon joins other countries such as Libya, Morocco and Tunisia that are considering the drafting of access to information laws. Jordan and Yemen are the only two countries in the region that already have them on the books but implementation has been sorely lacking.

We ask all authorities, starting with the Lebanese president all the way to the speaker of Parliament, to work and fight for integrity and transparency.”


– Nada Abdelsater-Abusamra, LTA Chairwoman.

Lebanese lawmakers should take into account these experiences and should consider:

The current draft law abides by international standards in that it avoids vaguely worded restrictions on the nature and type of information the public can access.

This means that any Lebanese may seek access to official meeting minutes and correspondence of parliament and parliamentary committees, government statistics, contracts made by the specific administration that would allow for budgetary and fiscal transparency.

With the security situation worsening in Lebanon and parliament recently announcing that elections will not be held for another year, the Lebanese public needs this law more than ever to keep their politicians honest and accountable.

For any press enquiries please contact press@transparency.org

Latest

Support Transparency International

The theme for the 18th edition of the International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) is announced

Building on the priorities set out in the Panama Declaration, the 18th IACC in Denmark from 22 to 24 October 2018 will move the pledge of acting together now to concrete action.

A new home for our corruption research

Transparency International is excited to announce the launch of the Knowledge Hub, a dedicated online space for our research.

Pardon me? Presidential clemency and impunity for grand corruption

Recent events in Brazil and Peru have shone a spotlight on the issue of presidential pardons in cases of grand corruption. Read more to find out the best practices that legislators can use to ensure that pardons are not abused for political purposes.

Stopping Dirty Money: the Global Effective-O-Meter

As of December 2017, global effectiveness at stopping money laundering stands at 32% effectiveness.

Corruption in the USA: The difference a year makes

A new survey by Transparency International shows that the US government has a long way to go to win back citizens’ trust.

Anti-Corruption Day 2017: Empowering citizens’ fight against corruption

The 9 December, is Anti-corruption Day. A key part of Transparency International’s work is to help people hold their governments to account. Have a look at what we've been doing around the world!

Digital Award for Transparency: Honouring digital initiatives to fight corruption

The Digital Award for Transparency awards individuals and civil society organisations who have developed digital technology tools used to fight corruption. The award aims at strengthening and promoting existing initiatives that promote good governance through three categories: Open Data, Citizen Engagement and Anti-Corruption Tools.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media

Would you like to know more?

Sign up to stay informed about corruption news and our work around the world