During the plenary session of Monday March 15th, 2021. The House of Representatives unanimously approved the bill n ° 46-19 relating to the national authority for the integrity, the prevention and the fight against corruption. Which was presented by Mr. Mohamed Benchaaboun, the minister of economy and finance and administration reform.
In this context, the Minister said that the aforementioned bill is part of the optimal legal demotion of the powers that the constitution has given to this body. And in response to the royal instructions which called for creating public life, promoting integrity and combating all manifestations of corruption, as well as meeting the expectations and aspirations of citizens in order to benefit from public services in accordance with requirements of transparency, integrity and quality.
This project includes requirements that provide for the effective legal discharge of the authority's constitutional tasks related to initiative, supervision and coordination by monitoring the implementation of anti-corruption policies, receiving and disseminating information in this area, contributing to the creation of public life, consolidating the principles of good governance as well as the culture of public service and the values of responsible citizenship, and this according to a vision framed by the principle of institutional cooperation and complementarity of efforts between the authority and the various institutions and law enforcement authorities, in compliance with the requirements of the said constitution.
The minister referred to the major issues addressed by this project, which revolve around the following points:
- Expanding the concept of corruption within the parameters of the new bill and in accordance with the provisions of Article 36 of the constitution, which article was drawn up for the national committee of integrity and in compliance with the provisions set in the UN anti-corruption agreement. Under the new bill, corruption has therefore come to entail the crimes set forth in criminal law as well as crimes set forth in special legislations. The provisions are worded in such a way as to allow room for the inclusion of actions that might be criminalised in the future. Corruption has also come to include administrative and financial violations, set forth in Article 36 of the Constitution, which violations are delinquent, erode the protection of the collective good, as well as go against professional etiquette and the values of transparency and integrity.
- Expanding the duties of the aforementioned committee. The new bill has therefore widened the range of interventions for the committee which now takes on actions of promoting integrity and protecting against corruption by providing consultations and recommendations as well as supervising, coordinating, offering perspectives and contributing to the assessment of public policies designed to fight corruption. In tandem with the efforts and duties of other authorities and committees, the National Integrity Committee is now entitled to receive, process and launch administrative investigations into complaints; and by extension, the committee now has the power to directly handle acts of corruption and see them through criminal and disciplinary channels.
- Strengthening investigatory missions by monitoring and organizing them as well as approving sworn officers, who will swear an oath before the Rabat Court of Appeal, while clearly defining the said officers' assignment criteria and specify their duties and professional rules of conduct, the most important of which are impartiality, confidentiality and abiding by the regulations and the laws in force that govern their work.
Reconsidering the duties of the committee's bodies, its system of governance and the modalities of its operation, and stipulating the appointment of three vice-presidents to work alongside the president within the framework of a permanent committee. Empowering our country with a national committee that is legally entitled to combat corruption will serve to boost the national effort invested in this regard as well as strengthen the institutional ties of cooperation and ultimately ensure that the scourge of corruption is effectually fought within a joint effort and a holistic perspective.