Morocco’s government endorsed a bill on Friday that created a national body designed to prevent and fight acts of bribery and corruption.
According to Moroccan law, the bill will be submitted for government ratification, and for the parliament to debate and approve it, before the bill is implemented following publication in the Official Gazette of the Kingdom of Morocco.
Mustafa Al-Khalfi, the government’s Minister of Communication, said in a press conference, as quoted by Middle East Monitor:
“This project is in the framework of activating the provisions of Article 36 of the Constitution which demands for the creation of a National Commission for integrity and the fight and prevention of bribery and to enable the powers against corruption to expand to the area of intervention to act against corruption.”
Al-Khalfi emphasized that the project converts the Central Authority for the Prevention of Corruption to an independent national body that enjoys financial autonomy.
The tasks of the new body would be to perform the subsequent research and investigation after receiving notifications and complaints pertaining to acts of corruption and bribery. It will also be responsible for preparing a national database on corruption in the public and private sectors.
According to Al-Khalfi, the new entity will have “the authority of establishing national strategic programs for communication, awareness and the dissemination of values of integrity to prevent and combat corruption, while retaining the power to evaluate and track the implementation of this strategy.”
In December, Abdelilah Benkirane, the secretary-general of the Islamist Justice and Development Party, declared that no progress had been made in tackling corruption, and he said he was committed to addressing “this plague,” taking all necessary measures in this area.
According to Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index in 2013, Morocco fell by four points since 2012, ranking 91 of 277, in which “1” would be the least corrupt of the global jurisdictions ranked.
Julie DiMauro is the executive editor of FCPA Blog and can be reached here.