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Rule of law leads the political scene again By: Mohammed Al Allaf / Chairman of Jordanian Integrity and Anti-corruption Commission

11/13/2016 12:39:21 PM

Rule of law leads the political scene again

By: Mohammed Al Allaf / Chairman of Jordanian Integrity and Anti-corruption Commission

The sixth discussion paper that was recently put forward by His Majesty King Abdullah II Bin Al-Hussein came to reflect a clear political will and to announce, with determination, that the principle of Rule of Law leads- very firmly- the interface of the political life, to form a new phase of political reform in Jordan.

We at The Integrity and Anti-corruption Commission are interested in particular in all the visions and orientations stated in this royal paper. The Commission was entrusted with law No. 13 of 2016 Article IV as a national institution, that came into force on June 15 of this year with a responsibility for conducting and implementing national integrity and committing to its principles and the fight against corruption, as well as activating the system of values and behavioral rules, and ensuring the public administration's commitment to the principles of good governance, standards of equality, competence and equal opportunities. Making sure there is a legal framework that regulates the accountability of officials and decision-makers, transparency of public administration in the implementation of legislation, the fight against nepotism and favoritism, and the prosecution of the corrupt wherever found regardless of their position or their jobs or social status.

The principle of "Rule of law" in this Royal paper is not only a key ingredient of the elements of national integrity, but also a basic ingredient of the elements of contemporary Jordanian state in confronting the major regional challenges that surround us.

The Jordanian Integrity and Anti-Corruption Commission has entered a few weeks ago, the process of a large-scale transformation to establish a new phase of development as a national institution concerned with misuse of public money. It is the stage of establishing substantial changes in the basic responsibilities of the Commission and its structure, which adds value to jobs and national roles exercised.

This transformation includes two main components: The first is the integration of Anti-Corruption Commission and the Ombudsman Bureau in one institution, and the second is to take over the Commission in its new form - in addition to its previous duties – the responsibility for management and implementation of the National Integrity as a key component of the process of comprehensive national reform components as desired by His Majesty King Abdullah II Bin Al-Hussein.

  In order to cope with the major responsibilities entrusted to us by the new law in the area of Iintegrity, the competent departments in the commission have been engaged for months in conjunction with our strategic partners to develop a new strategy for Integrity and Anti-corruption with new national ambitious targets and a time frame exceeding ten years, as our aim is to develop an anti-corruption environment in the region.

 This strategy is based on the vision of communicating with the national environment in all its components, entrusts national heritage values, dedicated to integrity and standards of individual and collective behavior, including the Royal principle value: "The Rule of Law" and works as well to immunize all spectrums of society from corruption, while retaining at the same time the legal action momentum and security in the commission that handles all cases of corruption in highest seriousness and credibility.

      In preparation for this shift, the Commission has in recent months done a series of preparatory steps: Organizational, administrative, financial and technical to put this strategy into effect by the beginning of year 2017. That includes eight basic axes, which are: Awareness, prevention, national integrity, sovereignty and Law Enforcement, tightening legislation and the closure of doors leading to corruption, strengthen partnerships and integration efforts and international cooperation, strengthen communication and media channels, and the development of institutional capacities.

   In spite of these political, legal and regulatory developments that influenced the commission, we sense the magnitude of the challenges that we are embarking upon during the coming years in the areas of integrity and anti-corruption.

     We are fully aware that the first step in the fight against corruption is to build bridges of mutual trust between the commission and the community. This is exactly what the commission and government are targeting by the strategic vision for the coming years. Through openness, transparency and the Rule of Law policies.

    The real test here, which is often faced by governments in building the confidence needed for the fight against corruption, is a serious, effective and credible political and legal accountability system in the state- a headline in the sixth royal paper. Fortunately, the new Law article (4 / F) has pre-empted that the commission makes sure there is a legal framework that regulates the accountability of officials and decision-makers in the public administration and hold them accountable.

    Perhaps the statements in the paper will open wide horizons for the commission to meet the multiple requirements of this legal decisive and bold text. In addition to the fact of a crystallized Jordanian serious political will in this direction at all levels (political, legal and societal).

    Perhaps the biggest challenge in the coming years is to reach the mechanism (anti-corruption environment) instinctively and automatically. The environment of Jordan has actually been like that three decades ago.

Religious integrity, community values and heritage in Jordan has often formed a repellent reality of fighting corruption, but the events of the region and the tyranny of material values in this era created a layer of dust require removal and re-discover the truth within us.

 This is the real challenge facing the Integrity and Anti-corruption for the next ten years. It is a political challenge, security, community-based compound is inherently imposes a series of diverse other challenges upon which concrete achievements such as:

•  Speeding state institutions response to the national integrity system and international standards.

• The Commission's ability to recruit the state tools for the benefit of this strategy.

• The Commission's ability to human (self-capacity), technical and technological and infrastructure.

• The financial capacity to fund strategic programs

• The Commission's ability to bridge the gap between the public administration and public opinion in the area of integrity and anti-corruption.

   We are fully aware that we have great challenges. But we also recognize that we have a political leadership of a serious political will as firmly reflected in the paper, which tackled the bedrock of the pillars of state administration throughout history, which is "The Rule of law" and a mature community rooted with heritage and history values in all its forms and levels, that has been proved throughout history.