Lebanon News

CIB launches 2019 strategy to fight corruption in public sector

BEIRUT: Central Inspection Bureau head George Attieh announced the institution’s 2019 strategy and said it will be stricter in its fight for transparency and against corruption in the public sector, during a televised press conference Thursday.

The CIB has requested that public administrations, municipalities and other governmental institutions provide the bureau with a list of their services, what documents are required from citizens to use different services, how much services cost and how long each process takes.

“Within one month, all administrations must provide us with this information, and the information should be available to the citizens and [posted] inside the administration’s offices,” Attieh said. “I call on every director-general [in the public sector] to establish a framework for their administration’s work and submit it to us.”

Also as part of the CIB’s strategy to bolster institutional transparency, any public institution beginning a contracted project will have to notify the CIB, and Attieh said the bureau would then oversee the implementation to ensure that the conditions the institution specified are met.

On an individual level, the bureau is taking steps to curb violations CIB inspectors observed during surprise visits made over the past few months, but for which few people have been held accountable.

The employees reportedly blamed violations on their directors, who they said ordered them to perform them. The directors, in turn, blamed their supervisors, “until it [reached] the minister.”

Attieh seized the news conference as an opportunity to remind employees of Article 14 of the Employees Law. The provision states that employees must inform their director if any order breaks the law, and if the director chooses to carry on with the decision, he must sign a paper declaring so and inform the CIB and take complete responsibility for the order.

During their surprise visits, CIB inspectors also noted that many employees do not work the number of hours specified by their respective institution.

Attieh warned those who continue not to comply with the set hours will have “lawful measures taken against them.” In 2019 the CIB will also begin conducting annual performance evaluations of the heads of public administrations, and inspectors will increase their surprise field visits.

Attieh called on citizens to report their complaints to the CIB.

“I ask the citizens to start using the application of the Central Inspection, which will be available in 2019, and send us your complaints.”

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on December 14, 2018, on page 2.

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