Transparency International criticizes the lack of coordination and independence in Afghan anti-corruption agencies

  • Date of Publication : 15/04/2017 at 13:47 GMT
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Global watchdog Transparency International has called for consolidation of Afghanistan anti-corruption agencies as it cited lack of coordination or independence.

In a research report, TI said that Afghanistan has too many separate anti-corruption agencies, which according to the group; do not have enough coordination or independence to be effective.

“The lives of ordinary Afghan citizens will improve exponentially if they do not have to face corruption at every turn for every public service,” said Jose Ugaz, the chair of TI. “This is why it is critical for the government to act on its commitments to fight corruption and put in place a system that works.”

Last year, Afghanistan saw some improvement in global corruption index but still the country remains of the top 10 corrupt countries in the world.

Afghanistan ranks 169 out of 176 countries on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2016 and surveys show that almost 80 per cent of citizens say that corruption is a serious problem in their daily lives.

TI said that in order to be effective, anti-corruption agencies must be independed and have the resources to investigate and prosecute free from political interference.

According to the study by the group, Afghanistan’s judicial system lacks independence, hampering the fight against corruption. In addition, the overlapping and badly defined roles of the nine anti-corruption agencies in the country mean that there is poor communication between them and lack of accountability, it said.

TI recommended to Afghanistan to set up a two-agency model by merging the current anti-corruption agencies.

It also said that the High Office of Oversight and Anti-Corruption should be reorganized and managed to provide prevention, education and awareness-raising which it said were missing in the current structure.

Earlier, Franz-Michael Mellbin, European Union (EU) Ambassador in Afghanistan said the Afghan government will remain a weak government if it fails to effectively fight against corruption.

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