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Legal and Institutional Structure for fighting Corruption

In
Lebanon

By
The Lebanese Center for Policy Studies

Table of contents
Introduction. 3
I- ANALYSIS OF THE CURRENT REGULATORY AND ORGANIZATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE
......
4
1.There are numerous legislative laws related to anticorruption. These will be addressed in four categories as
follows ........4
A. Laws prohibiting public servants from accepting or soliciting bribes, receiving offerings from varios
sources, or embezzling government fund.....4
B- Laws governing potential conflicts of interest, such as hiring family members or friends. Awarding
contracts to family members, friends, or entities ...
6
C- Laws mandating the disclosure of income and assets of public servants and the disclosure of income and
assets of their spouses and dependants... 7
D- Laws that requires public officials to indicate the source of their wealth when challenged by the state (illicit
enrichment)
8
2) Analysis of the institutional infrastructure for combating corruption.....9
A. Institutional infrastructure for combating corruption.... 9
B- Analysis of the risk assessments done for ministries and departments, especially for those with a major
revenue expenditure or regulatory function that are particularly vulnerable to corruptio 15
C- Major Public Awareness And Education Campaigns Conducted.......15
D- Discussion of the role of the judiciary, executive and parliamentarians in combating corruption..15
3) Network map and contact data for donors and civil society.....
16
A- Donors, organizations and other contributors.... 16
(for details see Annex 1)..16
B- Media and their role in combating corruption ..18
4) The Level of Corruption at Present. 20
II- ANALYSIS OF THE EXPERIENCE OF CORRUPTION AND PRO-INTEGRITY REFORM WITHIN THE
ORGANIZATIONAL AND REGULATORY SETTING20
1) Innovations in fighting corruption in... 20
A. The Governmen...: 20
B- The Civil Society.... 21
C- The Private Sector ...22
D- Campaigns Sponsored by a faith-based organizations (this association is in the process of being created)
23
Conclusion.....23
ANNEX 1 .....25
ANNEX 2 .....27

GLOSSARY..... 28

Basic facts and information


Name of the country
Type of state
Date of independence
Type of Parliament
No of members of parliament
Date of Last parliamentary elections
Population
GDP (2002)
HDI (Human Development Index) (2002)

The Lebanese Republic


Republic
22 November 1943
Elected
128 members
June 2005
4 million
17,294 Millions $US
0.759

* Figures are from the CIA fact book and the United Nations Development program in Lebanon

Introduction:
Corruption, with all its underlying connotations, is not a new term in the Lebanese context. In
fact, Lebanon has long faced excessive allegations of corruption in the past as well as the more
recent years of its history1. Many corruption accusations were made public as corruption issues
were frequently touched upon and published in daily newspapers, but with few facts or
evidence made public. Moreover, the trend was that little follow-up was undertaken by
newspapers when a story became old news. Recently things have been changing as
allegations of corruption evolved into being more specific citing corruption practices in
specific projects, pointing to responsible individuals as well as making public supporting
documents.
The prevailing numerous instances of corruption, may lead to the erroneous assumption of
prevailing weak anti-corruption legislations and laws in Lebanon. This study demonstrates that
there exists a good quality legislative framework incorporating an adequate number of laws
prohibiting and hindering corruption practices in the country. Moreover, many of the existing
anti-corruption laws target the public sector.
The so-called war against corruption in Lebanon is essentially jeopardized at a large scale by
the confessional system embedded within the Lebanese political system. Consequently, the
impact of this confessional system is randomly spread all over the public administration thus
making accountability difficult to be enforced.
This study will provide an overview of the existing Lebanese Law aimed at curbing and
reprimanding corruption practices. The study serves to pinpoint the laws that prohibit bribes,
which are wide-spread in Lebanon and are one of the important elements of corruption. This
paper highlights all other crimes as well as their subsequent penalties included in the general
understanding of corruption and fighting corruption; as well as provides an overview of the
institutional framework and the control agencies that are available in Lebanon for combating
corruption as well as summarizing these agencies responsibilities and means of operation.
1 For a historical context of the Lebanese corruption experience see Adwan Charles Corruption in
Reconstruction: The Cost of National Consensus in Post-War Lebanon in Corruption in Post-conflict
Reconstruction: Confronting the Vicious Cycle
http://www.tiri.org

The first part of this study presents the current state of regulatory frameworks and
organizational structures that, in theory, prohibits corruption practices in the public domain, i.e.
prohibits corruption practices from being practiced by public officials (civil servants, judges,
elected and appointed officials, officers or directors of enterprises owned or controlled by the
government in its three branches). The second part of the study describes the county specific
context of implementing anti-corruption and pro-integrity reforms within that organizational
and regulatory setting.

I- ANALYSIS OF THE CURRENT REGULATORY AND ORGANIZATIONAL


INFRASTRUCTURE
There are numerous legislative laws related to anticorruption. These will be addressed in four
categories as follows:
A. Laws prohibiting public servants from accepting or soliciting bribes, receiving
offerings from various sources, or embezzling government funds, all the crimes
under covers all the crimes listed below.

Regulation No. 1104 dated 14/11/1921 concerning shore guards This


regulation was amended by the decree law No. 138 dated 16/9/1983
Covers:
- All civil servants in charge of controlling fisheries.
Penalty: Subject to potential penalty of 6 months to 5 years in prison (with a minimum
fine of 100 francs and a maximum of 1000 francs), under this regulation for example
the coast guard is forbidden from accepting gifts , even fish.

Law No. 340 dated 01/03/1943 of the criminal law

Covers:
- All civil servants elected or appointed in the public administration, public
institutions, municipalities, the army, the judicial, and all other public
employees.
- All persons appointed for an official mission (remunerated), such as the
arbitrator, an expert or syndic.
- All persons summoned to a public service
- Arbitrators with an official mission
- Experts with an official mission
- All persons appointed for an official mission (non-remunerated)
- All persons elected for an official mission (remunerated)
- All persons elected for an official mission (non-remunerated)
Penalty: Articles numbered 351, 357, 359-, 363, 364, 368, 369 in the criminal law
charge is a prison sentence ranging from 1 to 3 years and from 2 months up to 2

years. These articles include all crimes related to accepting or soliciting bribes,
receiving offerings from various sources, or embezzling government funds

Law No. 112 dated 12/06/1959 of the public service law

Covers: This Law separates all civil servants according to the following:
1- Permanent and temporary civil servants.
2- Any other person not related to the first category is considered a
wageworker.
Decree No. 90 dated 16/9/1983 of the adjective civil law
Covers:
- The state on behalf of the judge
- The judge

Penalty: Revoking the judgment and/or compensating the defendant for the sustained
harm.
The state may not be subject to a law suit in the event of judges abusing judicial powers
the applicability of this law is hindered due to time limitations since a case has to be
filed in two months thus making it difficult, even impossible, to pursue.

Decree No. 14969 dated 30/12/1963

This decree is applicable to members of the Council for Development and Planning and
the members of the Higher Council of Urban Planning. The decree prohibits employees
in the above public institutions from practicing corruption in governmental deals.
This law may be applied to:
- Ministers
- Public servants.
Penalty: The Minister or the public servant(s) is bound to return from his own assets all
the sums overspent above the limited budget of his ministry.
Law No. 24/68 dated 13/04/1968 of the Military Justice
Many laws are still applicable only under exceptional conditions and have not been
amended at later stages; as such it is still effective in-force till date because this law
should only be applicable under exceptional conditions it has not been amended or
repealed and as such is still in force.
Covers:
- All military ranks, general security employees and all civil employees working
with the military
Penalty: Rank discharge.

Decree No. 9306 dated on 21/12/2002., IDAL (Investment Development


Authorities of Lebanon).

Covers:
- Employee: defined as the individual occupying an established position in the
cadre.
- Contractual: any Lebanese or an individual of foreign nationality working with
IDAL on a contractual basis, for a limited time and for a specific job requiring
special know-how (expert).
Judiciary code of Ethics dated 25/01/2005
Article 5 under rule Number 3 entitled Integrity the judge including his family
dependents are prohibited from receiving gifts, loans, endowments...for any reason
related to his/her judiciary function.

The speech of the third independent government, presided over by the late Premier Abdul
Hamid Karami, relative to administrative reform, was not less rigorous than the statement
of the first government which stated: concerning the internal field the Lebanese
administration is overwhelmed by number of civil servants exhausting the state treasury
and whose presence creates confusion and disturbance
The Maronite patriarch Mar Boutros Arida, said in his famous speech dated 25/12/1941, at
a time when Lebanon was still under the French mandate: we want an independence
served by a government composed of the best men, not a band of drunk sinners gamblers,
selfish vengeful men, we need honest, incorruptible and straight men
B- Laws governing potential conflicts of interest, such as hiring family members or
friends. Awarding contracts to family members, friends, or entities in which the
public servant or his or her relatives or friends have an interest in. Holding a
position in a private entity while simultaneously being a public employee. Holding
a position with an entity which he or she did business within a specified period
after leaving government service (cooling off period):

Decree No. 14916 dated 27/12/1963

Covers :
- Members of the Council of planning and development .
- Members of the Higher Council for urban planning.
Penalty: The penalty is not mentioned in this law.
Law No. 228 dated 31/03/2000 regulation of privatization processes
Covers:
-The Prime Minister (as the President of the Higher Council for Privatization)
- All members of the Higher Council for Privatization (ministers of Justice,
Ministers of Employment, and Ministers of Finance, Economy and Trade,.
- The specific minister of the concerned privatization project.
7

- All members of the specific control agencies assisting on this project.


- All other decision makers, (individuals whose assistance is requested by
institutions or by the council).
Penalty: prison sentence ranging from 1 to 3 years.
Law No. 664 dated 4/2/2005 the Ombudsman Law
Covers :
- The Ombudsman: Is an independent government agency not responsible to
any Lebanese authority (Executive, Legislative and Judicial). The
Ombudsman has full power to interfere within the limit defined by this Law.
Officially the ombudsman has the authority to receive and investigate
complaints about any institution, organization, or business. However in
practice in Lebanon the Ombudsman may only follow up on citizens
complaints when they are not answered (see page 19) its premises are located
in Beirut but its activities cover Lebanese territory.
The Ombudsman can interfere either initiatively or upon a request from any
parliamentarian, in all issues related to public interest.
Penalty : Dismissal.

Decree No. 9306 dated 21/12/2002

This Law was mentioned under category A .

Decree No. 5540 dated 23/5/2001 Organization of the higher council for
privatization

Covers :
- All members of the Higher Council of Privatization.
- All employees of the higher council of Privatization.
- All individuals whose assistance has been requested in the privatization
process.
Penalty: Article 364 of the Criminal Law stating that offender is subject to a potential
penalty of a prison sentence ranging from 3 months to 2 years and a minimum
fine of 200.000 L.L.

Law No. 340 dated 1/3/1943 (Criminal Law).

Covers:
- All public servants (includes all civil servants in the administration, public
institutions, municipalities, the army, the judicial, and all state employees)
- All persons appointed or elected for an official mission both remunerated and
non-remunerated.

Penalty: Prison sentence ranging from 3 months up to 3 years and a minimum fine
equivalent to the refunded sum.
C- Laws mandating the disclosure of income and assets of public servants and the
disclosure of income and assets of their spouses and dependants:
All enumerated persons under this paragraph should present a statement disclosing their
assets to different administrative agencies as stipulated by the law according to their
different position.

Law No. 154 dated 27/11/1999 of the illicit enrichment law

Covers:
- All judges,
- Civil servants of the third category or equivalent and higher,
- All commissioned officers, supervisors and auditors in the Ministry of
Finance, civil servants working in customs and all public servants.
N.B.

As a consequence to this law, public officials are obliged to submit two


statements declaring their assets; the first letter is submitted upon their
appointment and the second upon the termination of their duties. The
information should be submitted in a sealed envelop kept at different locations
(depending to their positions).

Penalty: Dismissal.

Law No. 664 dated 4/2/2005 the Ombudsman law

Covers :
- The Ombudsman
D- Laws that requires public officials to indicate the source of their wealth when
challenged by the state (illicit enrichment).

Law No. 154 dated 27/11/1999 of the illicit enrichment law (this law was
has existed since 1954, and was never enforced)

Covers:
- All judges: members of the Constitutional Council, the judiciary,
administrative and fiscal judges, all members of the judicial corps considered
part of the government.
- All civil servants (this includes: contractual, employees, temporary waged
staff, permanent waged staff in all institutions including all civil servants
classes or levels in the ministries , in the public administration or in the
institutions of the ministry of national defense).
- Chairs of the board in all public enterprises.
- All civil servants in independent enterprises, municipalities, or municipalities
union.
9

- All commissioned officers or non-commissioned officers in the military,


security and customs institutions.
- Supervisors in the Ministry of Finance.
- Auditors in the Ministry of Finance.
- Civil servants in customs institutions.
- All public servants.
- Elected officials: (President of the Republic, President of the Parliament,
Member of the Parliament, President of the Municipal Council, Member of
the Municipal Council, President of the Municipal Union, Member of the
Municipal Union, all moukhtars).
- Appointed officials: (President of the Council of Ministers, Ministers,
Notaries, the Administrative Committee whose works lead to financial
expenses, representative of the state in mixed commercial companies, the
heads of administration of Beirut Ports, the heads of companies of public
interest).
N.B.: Law No. 154 does not mention the Ombudsman but Law 664 dated 4/2/2005
Penalty : Articles 351 366 of the Criminal Law: subject to potential penalty ranging from
a minimum of one month up to three years in prison and a fine.

e- Laws that protect public servants or other individuals who in good faith disclose
to the proper authorities allegations of corruption practices by public servants:
There are no laws under this category.

2) Analysis of the institutional infrastructure for combating corruption.


A. Institutional infrastructure for combating corruption
The Ombudsman institutions:
In February 2005 the parliament enacted the Ombudsman law. However, Ombudsman
institutions and offices have not been established yet or operating to this date.
The Court of Audit (COA):
An adjunct to the Office of the Prime Minister, this court is entitled to both administrative and
judicial actions when performing its duties. It is responsible for supervising the use of public
funds. It is also responsible for the compliance of public employees accused of violating laws
and regulations governing the administration of public funds.
The COA exercises two types of control:
1) Administrative control which includes:
Pre-audit control
Post-audit control

10

2) Jurisdictional control exercised over accounts and employees:


Accounts: the mission constitutes of auditing the accounts of all civil
servants who are holders of public funds, whether in the government
ministries, autonomous agencies and municipalities.
Civil servants: the mission is to penalize civil servants in cases of public
funds misuse or violating financial rules and regulations.
The organization of COA is very similar to that of the court of justice. The COA annually
receives thousands of transactions, files and cases.
The number of cases handled by the COA during the year 2002 was as follows2:

1123
407

Approved

21

Approved with conditionality or recommendation


Approved maintaining the right to make additional

9
65
3
85
1713

recommendation in post audit


Partial approval
Not valid
Return of document to sender
declined
Total

COA consists of three departments:


1) The COA department is divided into six chambers
2) The Prosecutor General.
3) The administrative department.
The documents received by the office are filed under five categories: Pre-audit, advisory,
opinion, activity accounts, administration accounts and employee supervision. They are
transferred to one of the chambers according to the control agency.
Each document received by the COA undergoes the following procedure:
1- Registration and numbering.
2- Assignment to a chamber by the President.
3- The document is then returned to registration and classification in one of the
five above-mentioned categories, assignment of a number within the category
and assignment to a chamber.
4- Review by a judge. Issuance of letters, preliminary decisions or advisory
opinions.
5- Communication of results and decisions to the appropriate authority.
The personnel of the office are divided into three main categories:

2 when this study was conducted the official numbers were not officially published in the gazette , 2002 was the
latest official available number.

11

1) The judicial cadre, which includes the president of the COA, the Prosecutor General
and a number of judges distributed among the six chambers responsible for the preaudit control and prosecution of employees.
2) The professional cadre, which includes auditors and controllers responsible for
conducting financial and legal checks and audit.
3) Administrative and clerical employees.
The presidential cadre of the COA includes:

Judicial cadre
Auditor
Controllers
Administrators
Staff
Total

Established positions Occupied positions Vacant positions


36
18
18
80
30
50
73

30

43

189

78

111

The Central Inspection Board (CIB): decree law no. 115 dated 12/6/1959

This board is also an adjunct to the office of the Prime Minister and is authorized to
monitor and penalize all public administration and public employees by identifying
violations to the law and imposing corrective measures when necessary.
The CIB consists of two independents bodies: one for investigation and answering queries,
and another for reviewing reports submitted by the investigation body, determining the
repercussions for employees accused for violations of anticorruption laws and then issuing
the necessary recommendations.
The CIB issues a decision concerning the conduct or measures given as advisory opinion
upon the submission by the CIB President of each file he/she receives from the
investigating body.
The CIB is sanctioned to take the following decisions:
1- Transfer to higher Disciplinary Council
2- Transfer to the Court of Audit
3- Transfer to public prosecution
The CIB is also empowered to request the public administrations in question to reimburse the
money paid illegally to any other administration or individual(s).
The presidential cadre of the CIB undergoes a hiring procedure, which has not been in effect
for several years (due to war and political unrest), the cadre includes 450 established positions,
which is the number of employees of the CIB as stipulated by the law. Nowadays the CIB has
only 355 actual number of employees leaving 95 unoccupied positions
The below table shows that annual number of complaints for the years 2001 2003 processed
by the CIB
2001

2002
12

2003

With Administrative sanctions


Transfer to the court of audit
Public Prosecution
Higher Disciplinary Council
Advisory Opinion
Files to be stored

391
138
64
33
273
119

118
4
9

404
98
15
8

N.B. Assistance before the council of the state.


The official public newspaper which publishes all laws, articles, decrees and their
amendments, thus rendering them effective is called the official Gazette. The official
Gazette is managed by the Presidency of the council of ministers under article 7-d of
decree 2870 dated 16/12/1959 under the organization of the presidency of the council of
ministers. In its issue No. 20 dated 16/05/1996 in pages 992-993 The Official Gazette
lists article 11 without a title and the reference to the law, thus highlighting the failure of
the presidency of the council of ministers in effectively managing the official Gazette as
well as the public administration laisser-aller in its explicit lack of control. (see annex3)

Higher Disciplinary Council (HDC)

The Higher Disciplinary Council is attached to the Office of the Prime Minister, and is
empowered to arbitrate civil servants in the case of breaches of laws and regulations. The
Higher Disciplinary Council has power over all civil servants, municipality servants and
independent institutions. The Council of Ministers and the Central Inspection Board
transfer cases to this council. The trial should take two months starting from the date of the
first hearing. The higher Disciplinary Council has an annual budget of 256 million L.B.P.
The number of cases from 1/7/2003 to 31/12/2005 is 65 transfers and 72 civil servants
cases; all these cases were closed.
The civil servant may turn for assistance to the council of the state and, upon acceptance of
this request; the case will be transferred back to the Higher Disciplinary Council for review.
There are 13 positions occupied by civil servants and 24 established positions. The
president and two members of the Higher Disciplinary Council are entirely dedicated to
promptly assessing violations of the law committed by civil servants while fulfilling their
duties.
Under Law No. 201 dated 26/5/2000, the Council became entitled of holding accountable
all civil servants in public administrations, municipalities, public and independent
institutions, covering all permanent and temporary employees, contractors, wageworkers
and dealers. Excluded from this Law specifically enumerated are categories of civil
servants in addition to the state security, and customs officers, as well as all civilians
working in these two institutions. In addition, all members of the Lebanese Universitys
teaching board were excluded.
The Higher Disciplinary Council is the sole authority having the jurisdiction to penalize
civil servants, municipal employees and employees of public institutions using any of the
sanctions enumerated under the regulations under which it governs. While the hierarchical
13

directors and the Central Inspection Boards powers are limited to specific sanctions or
penalties, the Higher Disciplinary council has the jurisdiction to impose any sanctions or
penalties mentioned by the law which covers specific civil servant cases.
A civil servant is referred to the Higher Disciplinary Council by two ways : (1)
a decree or a decision of his appointment authority or by (2) decision of the Central
Inspection Board.
The Civil Service Board
The civil service board is in charge of public sector personnel management having the
following jurisdictions: the authority of rotating civil servants from one position to another,
taking disciplinary measures and dismissal from public service. The budget of the civil
service board is confidential. The number of civil servant is 113 of which 68 as established
by the cadre and another 45 on a contractual basis. The annual number of cases is above
4000.
The civil servant can turn for assistance to the State consultative council. Civil servants
penalized by any of the three authorities i.e. The central inspection board, the higher
disciplinary body and the civil service board can turn for assistance from the state
consultative council and override these three inspection bodies. This is due to the civil law
maintaining that prosecution occurs at two stages and the state consultative council is the
2nd stage of prosecution.
Fiscal Public Prosecution
The Fiscal Public Prosecution is composed of the Prosecutor General, three fiscal lawyers,
seven civil servants and one secretary. The determination of the member of complaints
received annually is very difficult because of the different sources of case transfers, and a
lack of official registry for these complaints.
Any person has the right to present a complaint to the Fiscal Public Prosecutor. Banking
crimes needs to be registered as written complaints from the President of the Central Bank
of Lebanon. Concerning violations related to customs taxes, the Director General of
Customs has to present a written complaint to the Fiscal Public Prosecutor.
Supreme Judiciary Council
The Supreme Judiciary Council is formed of ten members and empowered to supervise the
work of the judiciary including the courts. Furthermore the Higher Judiciary Council is
responsible for the establishment of the Disciplinary Council.

Disciplinary Council
Disciplinary measures concerning judges are issued by a court or a council composed of
judges selected from the judiciary corps. The Minister of Justice is empowered to request
the President of the Disciplinary Court to investigate any case s/he deems necessary.
The judiciary empowers the Judiciary Inspection Body to investigate and control the duties
of the Administrative Judges.

Judiciary Inspection Body.

14

The Judiciary Inspection Body is empowered to investigate all complaints presented


directly by the citizens or through the request of the Supreme Judiciary Council or the
Minister of Justice. There is strict confidentiality on all Judiciary Inspection Body
investigations. Concerned citizens are restricted from following the progress of their
complaint and are not even allowed to inquire about it, until the final disciplinary decision
is issued.
The law limits the number of this agency at 11 members, 6 general inspectors, 4 regular
inspectors and a president. In reality, The existing cadre includes only 4 members: 2
general inspectors, 1 regular inspector and a president. In the event of judges bribery and in
order to preserve the judiciary body, said judge is normally asked by the Judiciary
Inspection body to resign.
The number as well as the nature of cases being handled by the Judiciary Inspection body is
not public knowledge and citizens are not allowed access to information, however it is
maintained that the body is capable of handling all the cases despite the decreased number
of human resources3. It is also to be noted that the law (article 88 of the decree law number
150 Judiciary Law) does not state that the number of cases handled by this inspection body
may not be made public; however the names of the suspected judges may not be disclosed.
Moreover, the suspect may see the documents of the charges in his file, however a copy of
the file is not given.
The president of the judiciary inspection body maintains that corruption and bribery in the
judiciary authority pre-requisites the support of lawyers since it is lawyers who directly
deal with the judges, several attempts of coordination have been made with the presidents
of both the Bar association and the president of Judiciary Inspection body to cooperate in
fighting corruption, but the criminal law condemns the briber as well as the bribee. And
from this perspective people in question are deterred from fighting corruption.

B-Analysis of the risk assessments done for ministries and departments, especially for
those with a major revenue expenditure or regulatory function that are
particularly vulnerable to corruption:
In June 1995 the Council of Ministers created the (OMSAR) Office of Minister of State
for Administrative Reform, with the goal of leading the Lebanese public administration
towards the 21st century through the introduction of reforms and the promotion of
institutional development and ICT use, in order to increase the productivity of public
sector employees and make the administration responsive, transparent and accessible,
thus benefiting civil society and the government.
The European Union and the World Bank exerted pressure on the Lebanese government
to introduce structural reform and improve institutional legislation. USAID assists
parliamentary regulatory boards to become more accountable to peoples needs and
funds civil society organization that speak out in favor of transparency, accountability,
governance and open business practices.
3 Interview conducted by author with Mohammad Owaida, president of the judiciary inspection body and
Ibrahim Wahaibi, director judiciary employees affairs on May 16, 2006.

15

C- Major Public Awareness And Education Campaigns Conducted.


Public awareness is detailed under the role of the media.
Many education campaigns and workshops at schools and universities were planned for
the summer of 2006 by Lebanese Transparency Association (LTA), but they were
postponed for the time being due to the prevalent unrest in Lebanon.

D-

Discussion of the role of the judiciary, executive and parliamentarians in


combating corruption.
The role of the judiciary in combating corruption is crucial as it is responsible for the
monitoring of the progress of tribunals and judges. This supervision is achieved through
two authorities: The Judiciary Inspection Body and the Supreme Judiciary Council
whose decisions are strictly confidential.
As for the belief that the judiciary is not up to expectation in combating corruption, we
think, based on our research, that its role is instead paralyzed by political interference.
Concerning assigning of judiciary positions, these are related to the position required by
the judge. Assigning of judiciary positions, especially higher level positions, are
allocated by a decree issued by the political authority and this is one of the aspects of
judiciary political interference, these are ultimately influenced by ministers
recommendations. In this case it becomes crucial for presidents and prime ministers or
ministers to ensure the integrity and ethics of the assigned judge.
Also another relation between the judicial and the executive body is portrayed in the
example of the relation of these two authorities which in the case of the Ministry of
finance is simply built on trust. In this context, when the Judiciary Inspection Body
suspends an investigated judge the Ministry of finance are simply asked based on
confidence to suspend and cease the suspects salary as well as suspension of a position
upgrade without having to provide a necessary explanation and documentation.
However there is no evidence that this measure is being enforced.
The major role of the parliamentarians is accountability of the minister. Obviously there
is a conflict of interest, involved in being a Member of Parliament and having a
ministerial portfolio at the same time, but the reality is that members of the same
cabinet often accuse each other of chronic corruption, embezzlement, and abuse of
authority. Citizens, for there part, should also be questioning and sanctioning their
elected representative of parliament through their voting habits.
In the process of combating corruption the parliamentarians have a central role as
representatives of the citizens and must not take advantage of their legislation
privileges. Instead Parliamentarians should adhere to their responsibilities as citizens
representatives to pass the necessary legislation to combat corruption, improve the
legislation related to transparency and accountability and to hold the government
accountable of its actions.

Law No. 74/25 dated 27/06/1974 provides former deputies with an indemnity of
amounting to approximately one million U.S. dollars monthly granting deputies the
option of granting themselves retirement. Lebanon is the sole country having this
16

provision rendering it thus difficult to identify between embezzling government


funds, conflict of interest and illicit enrichment. Moreover according to amendment
to law 722 dated 5/11/1998, members of parliament who served as members for
one round, two rounds, three rounds, receive 55%, 65%, and 75 % respectively
more indemnities.
N.B.: In the memory of four parliamentarians who passed away we have to
mention that (President Camille Chamoun, President Kamal Joumblat, Joseph
Chader and Albert Moukhaiber) have contested this Law (Toni Abi Najem, Al
Nahar Newspaper, 07/02/2005).
As a result, it seems surprising to hear a lawyer and a member of the parliament declare in
2004 that since 1992, parliamentary elections have been manipulated4

3) Network map and contact data for donors and civil society
A- Donors, organizations and other contributors:
(For details see Annex 1)
While the laws prohibiting corruption already existed since 1921 in Lebanon, the civil society
movements started more than 70 years later rallying support for an anti-corruption movement,
in conjunction with the efforts of other organizations.

Lebanese Transparency Association (LTA)

The Lebanese Transparency Association (LTA) was founded in 1999, by business people,
academics, economists, lawyers and civil activists and is the only anti-corruption organization
in Lebanon.
LTA aims to:

Curb corruption in its various forms in different sectors of society and state.
Promote the principles of transparency and accountability.
Establish rule of law, and
Strengthen the respect of basic rights as declared in International Charters and
the Lebanese Constitution LTAs program.
a. Access to information: Based on the link between access to information and
reduced levels of corruption, LTA carries out projects including workshops
and publications on different aspects of access to information, model
legislations and country reports on access to information in the MNA
Region. Currently LTA ghosts a website for the region that aims to provide
background material and assist network activists in the region to lobby for
this legislation.
b. Good public governance.
c. Youth anti-corruption empowerment.
d. Corporate governance.

4 The Daily Stars Newspaper 19/11/2004


17

The Lebanese Transparency Association (LTA) organized a meeting in Beirut from November
18 to 20, 2004. It was attended by 40 parliamentarians representing 11 Parliaments: Jordan,
Bahrain, Algeria, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Palestine, Kuwait, Egypt, Morocco,
Yemen and Lebanon (from which five parliamentarians were present).
The recommendations that resulted from this 3 days meeting offer a unique opportunity for
parliamentarians, civil society organizations and the private sector to initiate a dialogue aimed
at facing corruption, and pave the way for the institutionalizations of GOPAC in the Arab
Region.

Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC).

GOPAC was established during an international parliamentary meeting that was held in Canada
in October 2002. It is dedicated to the promotion of accountability, integrity and transparency
and is the result of volunteer efforts by parliamentarians around the world. Led by Mr. John
Williams, Member of the Canadian Parliament, and current Chair of GOPAC, the organization
has grown to include over 250 Parliamentarians from72 countries all of whom are dedicated
to work towards good governance and the fight against corruption GOPAC has chapters in
several regions of the world. The regional chapters vary from the fully developed and
undertaking a number of activities to those sill in the process of formation. GOPAC serves as
the global point of contact while regional networks work to strengthen the capacity of
parliamentary. Acting as Global Secretariat, GOPAC supports the establishment and
maintenance of these regional and national chapters of parliamentarians and assists in
developing policy recommendations for the relevant authorities to implement anti-corruption
legislation

The Arab Chapters of GOPAC (ARPAC)

And ARPAC was established during the above mentioned meeting organized by the
Lebanese Transparency Association (LTA).
ARPAC has many objectives mainly consisting of encouraging founding members to
establish national chapters, persuading national chapters to build coalitions with the media,
civil society movements and academics, calling on Arab governments to ratify the United
Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), as well as arranging for national and
regional workshops to promote methods for fighting corruption.
ARPAC is headed by Dr. Nasser Al Sane- a member of Kuwait National Assembly, a
founding member of GOPAC, as well as its vice-chairman. ARPACs Executive Office is
currently located in Beirut at LTA, and up until June 2005, 3 national chapters have been
established: Palestine, Yemen and Kuwait.

Program on Governance in the Arab Region (POGAR)


To strengthen governance institutions in the Arab states, UNDP launched the program on
governance in the Arab Region.
POGAR is commissioning a study on transparency and accountability in the public sector
with a view to responding to the challenges of globalization. It is also developing a training

18

module to enhance legislative drafting skills, identify best practices and Indicators for
effective legislatures.

B- Media and their role in combating corruption


The media addressing corruption in Lebanon is diversified including the newspapers
ALSAFIR, AL NAHAR, AL MUSTAQBAL, THE DAILY STAR. Almost every day one
can read an article or follow a debate on TV on this subject. Even theaters touch on this
topic. (see Annex 2)
The owners of major media forums are directly linked to politicians and other people who
are actively involved in politics. This of course is dependant of the media itself, how
objective they can be and their own self censorship internal policies.
The Lebanese media is playing a pioneer role in fighting corruption. First, they are often
the first to start to spread the message, which is very helpful in building citizen awareness.
Second, they begin to become more aware of the legislation and base their reports on
certified documents and evidence. However, as whistleblowers, they are still exposed to
prosecution.
The year 2003 witnessed the Al Madina Bank scandal. A number of the banks managers
were accused of misappropriation, fraudulent practices, and failing to apply proper
accounting procedures, with losses in the region of US$ 350 million. Al-Madina Bank had
long been suspected of facilitating money laundering.
The media gave prominence to this scandal, and tried to investigate leads and push for the
names of the politicians that were involved. No such information was made public by the
authorities.
Nowadays the media frequently addresses the subject of corruption in Lebanon; the claims
have even reached the judicial corps listing specific names of judges involved in
corruption. (Debates on corruption at New TV station 10/3/2006).
The present situation in Lebanon concerning corruption does not inspire confidence in the
near future unless radical measures are taken to redress the situation. It is difficult to
imagine which authority might be capable to take the necessary steps.
In 1994, the Societ Libanaise pour le Dveloppement et Reconstruction Solidere, was
formed to reconstructed downtown Beirut, under the law 117 dated December 1991. Nearly
90 percent of members of parliament voted for the Law and they were accused for bribes to
pass this legislation(. It became a privately-owned company in 1994 and was subsequently
listed on the Beirut Stock Exchange.
Solideres area of control is 1 million and eight hundred thousands square meters. The
Prime Minister Hariri, purchased 7% of Solidere shares.
A member of the parliament, in one of his interviews with Al Nahar newspaper on
25/10/1996, requested an answer concerning the appointment of judges for the evaluation
((1) Corruption in Post War Reconstruction (confronting the vicious circle)
Charles Adwan, p.69 LTA)

19

of property in the Beirut city center and the other expropriation committees regarding any
extra remuneration they would receive.
In October 1999, the Daily Star newspaper reported that the Council for Development and
Reconstruction (CDR) had agreed with Solidere that the latter would pay more than 3
millions $-dollars in salaries to the judges responsible for the evaluation of the property to
be expropriated and given to Solidere( while the property owners claimed that they are not
compensated fairly for their holdings.
A positive outcome of its action was materialized when the Central Inspection Agency in
the year 2000 passed to the Criminal Court the most important corruption cases in
Lebanon:

The first concerning Electricity.


The second concerning Telephone.
The third concerning Telecommunications.
The fourth concerning the Bourj Hammoud Holocaust.
The Fifth concerning the Ministry of the Displaced. Maybe a short
paragraph about each can be helpful for readers who are not familiar with
these cases.

4) The Level of Corruption at Present


In the recently released 2005 Corruption Perceptions Index CPI, by Transparency International,
Lebanon scored 3.1 out of 10, ranking it 83 1) out of 159 countries. Lebanons CPI improved
from 2.7 last year, which, while a step in the right direction, is by no means an indication that
corruption in Lebanon has dropped to below critical levels.

In the next section, we shall briefly review the steps taken to date to reduce corruption in the
public sector in Lebanon.
II- ANALYSIS OF THE EXPERIENCE OF CORRUPTION AND PRO-INTEGRITY
REFORM WITHIN THE ORGANIZATIONAL AND REGULATORY SETTING:
1) Innovations in fighting corruption in:
A. The Government:
In 1992 Rafik Hariri (assassinated on 14 February 2005) a Lebanese-Saudi billionaire, was
elected as the new Lebanese Prime Minister. Hariri made reconstruction, both physical and
institutional; a focal point of his platform and his term in office in initially trying to rally the
country under his reconstruction plan, Hariri attempted to initiate a rigorous administrative
reform program. Prime Minister Hariri gave redundant public employees the option of
resigning before the government conducted a comprehensive purge, and this resulted in more
(

(1)

idem

20

than 3.000 resignations, subsequently, around 600 civil servants were dismissed for corruption,
and 1.800 more were dismissed for permanent absenteeism from their jobs. This administrative
reform program was undertaken up by both the Civil Service Board and the Central Inspection
Agency. This reform program also came under great criticism because no high-ranking officials
were dismissed and some institutions were spared the reform project due to confessional and
political considerations.
In November 1998, Dr Selim Al Hoss was appointed Prime Minister and his cabinet embarked
on a reform program centered on eliminating corruption and set up an office to deal with
citizens complaints and to install suggestion boxes in ministries as well as the presidential
palace. This initiative was considered the best way to train citizens on the process of
accountability, and to highlight the mistakes made by the public officials and civil servants,
either in the practice of their profession or by accepting bribes.
It is widely agreed that the prevention of corruption should be at the forefront of reform efforts.
However enforcement is just as important. The reformer must therefore address both aspects;
prevention and enforcement.
Many files were opened in the winter of 1998 which resulted in the arrest of former Minister of
Oil Shahe Barsoumian and high ranking civil servants from the bureaucracy and independent
public agencies and institutions on corruption charges the Oil Ministry scandal alone involved
fraud that was estimated to have cost the treasury over US$ 1 billion between 1992 and 1998 .
Soon after, most allegedly corrupt officials were released or returned to their positions. In the
summer of 2000, the tension period between Prime Minister Hariri and President Lahoud lead
to a negative approach to the problem of curbing corruption. At that time the Ministry Council
approved the protocol with the office of the United Nations on fighting corruption. This
agreement resulted in the creation of a national commission for fighting corruption. However
this commission never saw the day for political reasons. Former Minister of agriculture Ali
Abdulllah and several senior members of his ministry were prosecuted and later arrested for
embezzlement of public funds and fund squandering in September 2003. Minister Abdullah
had allegedly allocated funds to fictitious cooperatives owned by his own relatives.
The draft Law for anti-corruption dated 16/04/2002, was drafted by the Office of the Minister
of State for Administrative Reforms (OMSAR) and it is based on a United Nations pilot project
and sent to the council of ministers. A committee was formed for its revision and is still
pending since 2002.
The Council of Ministers drafted Law No. 664 dated 04/02/2005, the Ombudsman Law,
explaining that his main purpose would be resolving citizens complaints related to the
administrations abuses. In February 2005, the Lebanese parliament passed the Ombudsman
Law No. 664, after adapting it so that it was completely ineffective. This law reduces the role
of the Ombudsman to resolving the complaints of the citizens with the concerned
administrations amicably. It is another example of jeopardizing the enforcement of the law. The
Ombudsman Institution has not been established yet.
B- The Civil Society

21

Corruption is not a social culture; it is the responsibility of the Governor and the Civil
Society (
There is enthusiasm and willingness in Arab civil societies, but little experience in addressing
anti-corruption issues. Anti-corruption activities require an analytical framework and the
development of tools to advocate change. Without cohesive and concerted region-wide efforts,
it will be difficult to make inroads into anti-corruption work in the region. Transparency
International, as the leading International civil society organization working to combat
corruption is uniquely placed to promote these civil society efforts.
We can divide civil society into two categories: young people and adults. A forum held at the
United Nations house of ESCWA launched the youth charter of Combating Corruption
(YCCC). The forum was attended by many officials in addition to students from across
Lebanon. The charter that was developed under the framework of the technical assistance
project implemented by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the
Office of the Minister of State for Administrative Reform, calls for the collaboration of several
ministries in order to enhance the role of youth in the fight against corruption.(
The YCCC is the first charter of its kind in the Arab World a special committee was
appointed to work with the UNODC in order to best implement this charter. (Youth asked to
fight corruption).
A board game was designed to be both fun and educational purposes. The purchasing of the
board game will be supporting the National Campaign against the National Corruption. For
more information about the National Campaign and the board game visit the website:
(www.corruptiongame.com).
Concerning the second category of civil society movements, LTA and other International
Organizations such as the United States Agency for International Development, launched large
media campaigns, and the United Nations launched a pilot integrity project through the center
for International Crime Prevention and the National Integrity Steering Committee.
On September 5, 2004, LTA hosted a workshop on reform and the role of civil society
organizations in the MENA Region. The workshop was organized in cooperation with the
UNDPs Program On Governance in the Arab Region (POGAR), the Lebanese Center for
Policy Studies (LCPS), and the Economic Research Forum (ERF). The participants drafted a
statement that was presented in New York at the G-8 Foreign Ministers meeting. The
document highlighted the main areas which merit reform: the rule of law and the struggle
against corruption.
C- The Private Sector
When corruption is widespread in the government, private sector participation in fighting
corruption is imperative for lobbying the state even though most of the corruption in a society
involves two principal actors, the government and the private sector.

((1) Daoud Khairallah- Al-Nahar Newspaper 8/12/1997


((1) Youth asked to fight Corruption (The Daily Star Wednesday, April 28, 2004).
22

The private sector can drive the implementation of some reforms and encourage the public
sector to implement these reforms as well.
One positive approach was taken by the President of the Association of the Lebanese
Industrialists who believes that the business community has a direct interest in reforming
corrupted public administration, and introducing transparency and accountability reforms. Mr.
Abboud expressed the willingness of the private sector to help fight corruption in the public
sector, which is a very important step forward in overcoming the partnership between the two
sectors to avoid the payment of income taxes and become aware that the wasted money is
domestic revenues.

D-

Campaigns Sponsored by a faith-based organizations (this association is in the


process of being created)
An Association of Women (University Degrees Education) having been married for 10, 20 and
even 30 years, they were left with their children by their spouses. The most common reasons
for the spouse for demanding the divorce under the church rules are:
1- psychological disorder
2- domineering character
3- In-laws opposition to marriage.
The women are prosecuted by the court to the above mentioned reasons, and at the same time,
left to raise their children. They believe that: there are defaults, present in the judicial system,
and that bribe is a common practice in religious courts.
This association is the result of the increasing cases of divorce in the Lebanese Catholic
Church. The association hopes to initiate a reform process targeting religion based divorce
cases.
Contact : Mrs. Badr Zeinoun Aftimos
Tel: 961-4-862 593
e-mail: badrzeinoun@hotmail.com

www.ickliros.accountability@yahoo.com
Conclusion:
This study on fighting corruption comes at a time when Lebanon is in dire need of
understanding the institutional framework and the reforms that were initiated to curb corruption
practices. Many existing laws related to this issue have been pinpointed in this study.
The up coming should have as priority fighting corruption in view of helping Lebanon to
recover from its economic setback. It is about time that the aforementioned laws must be
seriously enforced to stop protecting corrupt officials from accountability. The so called
"( " Lebanese way of forgiveness in settling political differences) should not be
tolerated anymore. The option given to public servants of resigning before the government
conducts a purge should no longer be permitted.
Taking into consideration many groups that are helping to fight corruption, such as
international organizations, civil society, parliamentarians, the media and the Lebanese people
23

(70% were watching the anti corruption debate according to a statistic release by NEW TV)..
We should have all reasons to feel quite optimistic about reaching this goal in the near future.

24

ANNEX 1
Lebanese Transparency Association (www.transparency-lebanon.org)
Baaklini Center, Bank El-Rif Square, 4th Floor P.O. Box 50-552
Baabda, Lebanon
Tel. (+961) 1 29 30 45, (+961) 1 28 22 38
Fax. (+961) 1 29 30 45
Email: info@transparency-lebanon.org
What are areas of concern for these organizations?? What are they doing??
Transparency International (www.transparency.org)
Headquarters
Email ti@transparency.org
Fax + 49 (0) 30 3438 2044 (Berlin)
+ 44 (0) 20 8748 7405 (London)
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (www.unodc.org)
Headquarters
Postal Address
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Vienna International Centre
PO Box 500A-1400 Vienna Austria
Street Address
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Vienna International Centre
Wagramer Strasse 5 A-1400 Vienna Austria
Tel.+43 1 26060 0
Fax +43 1 26060 5866
Program on Governance in the Arab Region (www.pogar.org)
E-mail: info@pogar.org
UNDP Regional Bureau for the Arab States
UN House, Riad El-Solh square, Beirut, Lebanon.
Contact person: Adel Abdellatif
Regional coordinator.
UNDP for Arab Countries (www.undp.org/rbas/)
Tel. 212-906-5450
Fax 212-906-5487
Email rbas-info@undp.org
25

Contact people:
Director of Regional Bureau of Arab States: Rima Khalaf Hunaidi
Deputy Director of Regional Bureau of Arab States: Oscar Fernandez Taranco
Chief of Regional Programme:Nada Al-Nashif
Chief of Country Office Division: Kunzang Chungyalpa
World Bank on Corruption
(http://www.worldbank.org/publicsector/anticorrupt)
Headquarters
The World Bank 1818 H Street, NW Washington, DC 20433 USA
Tel. (202) 473-1000
Fax (202) 477-6391
Anti-corruption Hotline
Report allegations of fraud & corruption in World Bank projects, and staff
misconduct
Tel. 1 (800) 831-0463
Fax (202) 522-7140
(www.pnowb.org)
Global Corruption Report (http://www.globalcorruptionreport.org/)
http.//www.amideast.org.Lebanon
Country Director: Barbara Shahin Batlouni
Street Address: Beirut Central district, Bazerkhan bldg.
First floor, Nijmeh square
Next to the Parliament, Beirut
Mailing address: P.O.Box 11-2190 Riad El Solh, Beirut
11072100
Phone: 961-1-989901
Fax: 961-1-989901 Ext. 100
Email: lebanon@amideast.org

GOPAC (www.gopacnetwork.org)
GOPAC Secretariat
255 Albert Street, Suite 802
Ottawa, Ontario
K1P 6A9
Tel. 613-237-0143 ext. 319
Fax 613-235-8237
ARPAC (www.arpacnetwork.org) tel.: +961 1 293045
info@arpacnetwork.org
+961 1 282238

26

ANNEX 2
AL NAHAR newspaper
Publisher Ghassan Tueini
(1948-1999)
Head of Board and General Director : Gebran Tueini
Publisher : Ghassan Tueini
Executive Publisher: Edmond Saab
Tel.: 961-1-994888
Fax: 961-1-996888
Email: annahar@annahar.com.lb
AS-SAFIR newspaper
As-Safir owner : Talal Salman
General director: Yasser Nehme
Publishing editor: Sateh Nour eddine
Responsible publisher: Faisal Salman
Tel.: 961-1-350001/2 ; 350080
Fax: 961-1-743601
Hamra, Mneimneh St. P.O.Box: 113/5015
The Daily Star newspaper
Publisher and Chief : Jamil Mroue
Administration Manager: Ayad Tassabahgy
Associate publisher: Hanna Anbar
http://www.dailystar.com.lb
Tel.: 961-1-562134
Fax: 961-1-561333
Email: jamilmroue@dailystart.com.lb
Al-Mustaqbal newspaper
Owner: Hariri
Publisher: Hani Hammoud
Assistant General Manager : Mouhib Itani
Responsible manager: Toufik Khattab
Lebanese New TV (NTV)
Tahsin Khayat, owner and chairman of the Lebanese New TV (NTV)
Watta Al-Moussaitbeh, Jabal Arab St. ; P.O.Box: 11-5858; Beirut, Lebanon
Beirut
Tel.: 961-1-303300 ; 961-1-706570-5 ;
Fax: 961-1-342005
Lebanese Broadcasting (LBC)
http: //www.lbcgroup.tv
Tel.: 961-9-850850

27

GLOSSARY
Supreme Judiciary Council
State consultative council
Disciplinary Council
Judiciary Inspection Body
Civil Service Board
Fiscal Public Prosecution
Higher Disciplinary Council
Central Inspection Board
Court of Audit
Pre-audit control
Post-audit control
Decree
Decree Law
Decision
Government
State
Official Gazette
Adjective Civil Law
Public service law
The higher council for privatization
Wageworker
Civil servant
Employeee
Ombudsman
The Administration
Planning and development Council
Repeal the law
General Law
Special Law
Higher Council for urban planning

28