Authority needs to fight corruptionWithout transparency, Yemen won’t be trusted [Archives:2003/687/Business & Economy]

November 20 2003

Mahyoub Al-Kamaly
Some people believe that attaching the charge of corruption to the government or the private sector shows a maliciousness against the sectors, in addition to harming the reputation of the developing countries including Yemen.
But experts in this field strongly believe in the importance of having transparency, to prevent administrative and financial corruption.
There should not be fear of talking about corruption, otherwise there will be free rein to destroy what has been built for both today and future generations.
Analysts say corruption is ignored because of fear of harming the reputation of the country, and because there is no formal evidence of the charge.
This supposition could have some truth. In Yemen all indications confirm there is a defect in administrative performance, especially at some departments concerned with public services related to citizens' interests, and also with taxation and customs administrations.
The president has on more than one occasion criticized those employees who fail to carry out their duties properly, demanding that there must be reformation to speed up citizens' dealings at various sectors of the government establishments.
The administrative and financial problems, however, remain. For instance the delay in finishing administrative procedures and the exaggerated bureaucratic routine and tricks concerning dues of lower employees all have become characteristic.
Some officials are very far away from performing their duties properly whether in application or in supervision. Some of them pay more interest and attention to formalities and protocols and official trips abroad and other unproductive aspects than to their essential duties and tasks.
The United Nations, specifically the committee on preparation of a draft international agreement for fighting corruption, has recommended the formation of a national independent apparatus for fighting corruption in each country.
It is supposed to be machinery concerned with fighting corruption in the governmental and private sectors on condition it would be independent fully from guardianship of any ministry and should be directly responsible to the sovereign of the state.
Nevertheless, the existence of the central apparatus for audition and accounting replaces the apparatus proposed by the UN and therefore, it is responsible greatly for fighting corruption and that its role should not be confined to the procedural aspect, i.e. reporting.
The international committee has also recommended participation of specialists in fighting corruption at the national level, where a representative from every official institution responsible for monitoring and follow-up should be present.
The goal is to unify the efforts and grant authority to gin information and take punitive decisions. This means there is an importance of activating the central body of audition and accountability to increase and consolidate the work of fighting administrative and financial corruption.
The fact is that we are at a stage feeling the significance of this role for the purpose of ending seminaries of corruption so that our national economy regains its full health.
Analysts are unanimous on the opinion that fighting corruption would help draw up new economic, social and educational polices aiming at pushing the economic performance, activation of markets, taking care of those of limited income, increase of the country's resources of foreign currency, increasing job opportunities for the unemployed, advance in offering services, in addition to setting up various programs for employment whether in vacancies in the state administrative machinery or vacancies resulting from pensioning some employees.
It could also be achieved by encouraging the private sector to provide more work opportunities besides the projects of self-operation supported and cared for by the social fund for development.
This means there is a necessity for drawing up a developed strategy for fighting corruption and working seriously in areas of developing fields of developing small industries and increasing opportunities of marketing our products inside and outside.
It is also necessary to facilitate loans to the youth and technical support to them and removing all hindrances standing against development of these projects.
There are fears that aggravation of financial corruption would lead to loss of investors trust in credibility of the real growth indications of out national economy and investment opportunities.
It would make many of them expect the worst for their investments, especially that the national currency performance is characterized by retreating. All that is a result of corrupt financial practices in a country where its financial system is considered the poorest in transparency, organization and credibility at the level of the region's countries.
To cure this situation we have to make fighting corruption a national task in which all institutions and political parties and civil society organizations undertake the task, in addition to legislative, executive and monitoring apparatuses.
Efforts to achieve this need to be made, and made now…