Objective 4: Anti-Corruption

Accomplishing Objective #4

The fourth objective of the Grant was to strengthen the capacity of GOI lawmakers to draft and pass legislation promoting greater transparency and accountability in government and exercise oversight over GOI’s anti-corruption agencies.

Key performance indicators in the Grant for Objective #4 included providing Project analyses and draft legislation regarding:

  • an assessment of corruption in Iraq and the development of a legal reform framework and recommended strategy for the USG in Iraq and for presentation to the GOI at an appropriate time;
  • roles of the various anti-corruption agencies to ensure their viability and independence;
  • transparency, accountability, and public participation in governance primarily at the national level, but also at the regional and provincial levels; and
  • compliance with the UN Convention against Corruption (“UNCAC”) through development of required legislation.

Key Deliverables Accomplishing Objective #4
The Project accomplished this Objective through the following key deliverables previously provided to USDOS:

Key Activities Accomplishing Objective #4
During the first quarter from January 1 through March 31, 2009, law students with the Global Justice Project Think Tank in Salt Lake City researched Iraq’s obligations under UNCAC.  During this quarter, Project representatives attended all meetings of the Anti-Corruption Working Group (ACWG) at the U.S. Embassy Baghdad.  The Project did substantial research on Article 139(b) of the Criminal Procedure Code 23 of 1971.

On March 21, 2009, Professor Holbrook attended a Joint Anti-Corruption Coordination Committee (“JACC”) conference on bribery; approximately 40 members of the JACC and their staff were in attendance.

Analysis of Iraqi Anti-Corruption Legislation

On April 6 2009, Ambassador Battle met with retired U.S. Ambassador Joseph Stafford (who was head of ACCO in the U.S. Embassy Baghdad) to discuss the activities of ACCO.  Ambassador Stafford identified as a first significant priority getting the legislative framework for anti-corruption enacted.  There were three draft laws aimed at clarifying the status of the three institutions charged with Iraq’s anti-corruption efforts: the Commission on Integrity (“COI”), the Inspectors General (“IGs”), and the Board of Supreme Audit (“BSA”).  These draft laws had a first reading over a year before, and then were under review in the State Shura Council. Ambassador Stafford discussed the USG’s aim to achieve repeal of Article 136(b) of the Criminal Procedure Code which had a contested history of repeal efforts.   He asked the Project to try to clarify the current status of this Article.  He discussed the slow pace of UNDP’s efforts to help the Iraqis come into compliance with the UNCAC requirements.  He requested the Project to talk to UNDP personnel to develop the best way to move these UNCAC efforts forward.

On April 20 2009, Ambassador Battle met with Dr. Abdulbasit Turki Saeed, President of BSA.  Dr Abdulbasit said there was a need for one central anti-corruption entity, not many entities, to combat corruption in Iraq.  He complained that the right of investigation (which existed since the 1980s) had been taken away from BSA in the new draft anti-corruption laws.  Dr. Abdulbasit said he opposed the repeal of Article 136(b) of the Criminal Procedure Code because it properly enables Ministers to protect their employees who are often falsely accused of corruption.

On April 21, 2009, Ambassador Battle met with Vince Foulk of the U.S. Embassy’s ACCO (Mr. Foulk is the senior U.S. advisor to the Iraqi Commission on Integrity). Mr. Foulk explained the interrelationships among the BSA, the COI, and the IGs.  He explained the how provisions of the new proposed laws affected each of these three entities.  He said a new draft omnibus anti-corruption law would give some limited authority to JACC.

On April 27, 2009, Ambassador Battle met with Sheikh Sabah al-Saeedi, who is a COR member of Parliament from Basra and is Chairman of the COR’s Integrity Committee. Sheikh Sabah reviewed in detail the three Iraqi anti-corruption institutions described above, their respective draft laws, and the draft omnibus anti-corruption law giving authority to JACC.  Sheikh Sabah said that the Iraqis, U.S. experts, and the UN must coordinate their anti-corruption efforts and establish priorities.

On May 12, 2009, Ambassador Battle met with Sheikh Sabah al-Saeedi, Chairman of the COR’s Integrity Committee, and COR member Amal Suham Kadi, who agreed to give the Project copies of the Arabic texts of the most recent versions of three anti-corruption bills that then were the subject of second readings at the COR.  Ambassador Battle completed an analysis of these three draft bills, a copy of which is attached as Exhibit __.

During early 2010 the Project completed a detailed review and analysis of five draft bills related to anti-corruption: (1) the proposed Commission of Integrity law, (2) the proposed Board of Supreme Audit law, (3) the proposed Inspectors General law, (4) the proposed Anti-Corruption comprehensive law, and (5) the proposed Anti-Money Laundering law. The analysis encompassed evaluation of potential areas of overlap and inconsistency and addressed the major legal challenges to successful adoption and implementation of the laws. The analysis covered the critical issue of the lack of internal legislative consistency among proposed laws, and compared their provisions to the anti-corruption legislation requirements of UNCAC which Iraq ratified in March 2008.  A copy of the analysis is attached as Exhibit __.

Anti-Corruption Workshop
During October and the first half of November 2009, Project personnel prepared for a day-long anti-corruption workshop for members of the GOI judicial, executive, and legislative branches, the Iraqi anti-corruption institutions, and the media.  On November 18, 2009, Professor Mallat and Dr. Samuels moderated the workshop.  Speakers at the workshop included:

  • Judge Ezzat Tawfiq Jaafer, Deputy Commissioner COI
  • Patricia Wildermuth, Acting CLA Director
  • Jacqueline Frank, IREX
  • Sheikh Sabah Al-Sa’idi, Chairman of the COR Committee on Integrity
  • Dr. Nawar Al-Zubaidi, Inspector General (IG) of the Iraqi Water Ministry
  • Dr Farouk Abdullah, Prime Minister’s Advisors Legal Committee
  • Ambassador Joseph Stafford, U.S. Anti-Corruption Coordinator
  • Barbara Mulvaney, CLA Deputy Director
  • Anne Bodine, Deputy U.S. Anti-Corruption Coordinator
  • Judge Mundher Ibrahim, Nominee of the Higher Judicial Council
  • General Dawud Jabbar, Iraqi Ministry of Interior
  • Judge Jalil al-Saidi, COMSEC
  • Judge Ahmed al-Mu’ini of the Iraqi State Shura Council
  • Sahar al-Ata, COR Committee on Integrity
  • Dr. Khadum of IREX

Both Judge Ezzat and Water IG Dr. Nawar al-Zubaidi made presentations on their work, including limitations in the law (for the IG the need to report to the Water Minister first). Judge Ezzat suggested there had been no success achieving UNCAC objectives (despite the report distributed which lists a number of areas where UNCAC articles were being addressed).

Asset Recovery Roundtable
The Project also participated on February 14, 2010 in a roundtable discussion of asset recovery organized by CLA in coordination with the Presidency Council for high-level Iraqis including advisors and ranking officials from the Prime Minister’s Office, COMSEC, the State Shura Council, the PC, and a number of other ministries. Featuring a prominent visiting official from Washington,  the roundtable discussion focused on asset forfeiture in relation to war crimes.  The discussion directly covered anti-corruption issues such as prosecution of money laundering, recovery of stolen assets, extradition, mutual legal assistance, and asset seizures.

Comparative Analysis of the Anti-Corruption Legal Framework of Other Countries
The Project also completed a comparative analysis of the legislative and institutional anti-corruption frameworks of seven countries.  To provide Iraqi authorities with relevant analytical information to assess the feasibility of various kinds of anti-corruption approaches, the comparative analysis identified the strengths and weaknesses of the seven countries’ institutional frameworks and addresses issued related to the type and functionality of the institutions within differing legal systems. In addition, the study identified key lessons learned from each country’s experiences in implementing national anti-corruption strategies. Unfortunately, due to limitations imposed by CLA, the Project’s anti-corruption resident expert was unable to meet with key representatives of the Iraqi anti-corruption institutions to discuss the comparative study.

UNCAC Coordination Efforts with UNDP
On May 4, 2009, Ambassador Battle met with Sylvia Fletcher at UNDP who headed the UN’s anti-corruption efforts in Iraq.  They discussed UNDP’s efforts helping GOI to undertake the compliance actions required of Iraq by UNCAC.  They discussed how the Project and UNDP could work together, and Ms. Fletcher said she hoped that the two organizations could share meetings, commentaries, and workshops with GOI principals.

The activity plan for anti-corruption activities included development—in coordination with UNDP—of a prioritized inventory of UNCAC anti-corruption legislative requirements and the creation of an action plan for fulfilling these requirements. This work, requiring close collaboration with the UNDP, could not be finalized due to an inability to arrange meetings either in Baghdad or Amman, Jordan with the relevant UNDP officials.  During January and February 2010, a brief analysis was completed on the compatibility with UNCAC of recommendations on regulating political funding in Iraq formulated earlier within the Project.  A copy of that analysis is attached as Exhibit __.