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Tunisia

strengthening legal framework for corruption fight (TN0001)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Tunisia, First Action Plan, 2014-16

Action Plan Cycle: 2014

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Secretariat of State in charge of governance and civil service.

Support Institution(s): Ministry of Justice, The committee of governance and corruption fight, the chamber of deputies, The legal advisor.

Policy Areas

Anti-Corruption Institutions, Asset Disclosure, E-Government, Legislation & Regulation, Whistleblower Protections

IRM Review

IRM Report: Tunisia End-of-Term Report 2014-2016

Starred: No

Early Results: Did Not Change Did Not Change

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information Public Accountability

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Drafting a set of laws related to corruption fight:
- A law related to the protection of Whistleblowers in the public sector:
- A law related to assets declaration by high government officials:
- A law on illicit enrichment:
This law aims at establishing mechanisms to report corruption cases, and setting up special measures to protect whistleblowers that witness corruption cases within the public sector. The law will sustain the effort of fighting the phenomenon of corruption that threatens public resources, and will reduce its effects at different levels of the government, including central and local level and all structures involved in public services delivery.
This law aims to determine the list of high government officials and who are obliged to disclose their assets declaration in accordance to specific procedures and after defining the control mechanism and the applied sanctions. This would replace the law n° 1987-17 of April 10th, 1987, related to government member’s declaration of honor, and all related legislation.
This law aims at defining illicit enrichment of public officials, their spouses or children. And so, with the addition of expenses that are made by or for the benefit of any persons involved in illicit enrichment.
Once these laws are formulated and approved by the government, they are directly forwarded to
the chamber of deputies.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

1: Strengthen legal framework for anticorruption

Commitment Text: Drafting a set of laws related to corruption fight:

       A law related to the protection of Whistleblowers in the public sector:

This law aims at establishing mechanisms to report corruption cases, and setting up special measures to protect whistleblowers that witness corruption cases within the public sector. The law will sustain the effort of fighting the phenomenon of corruption that threatens public resources, and will reduce its effects at different levels of the government, including central and local level and all structures involved in public services delivery.

       A law related to Asset Disclosure:

This law aims to define the list of high government officials and who are obliged to disclose their assets declaration in accordance to specific procedures and after defining the control mechanism and the applied sanctions. This will replace the law n1987 dated of17 of April 10th, 1987, related to declaration of honor by government members and high level officials of assets, and all related legislation.

       A law on illicit enrichment:

This law aims at defining illicit enrichment of public officials, their spouses or children. And so, with the addition of expenses that are made by or for the benefit of any persons involved in illicit enrichment.

Once these laws are formulated and approved by the government, they are directly forwarded to the chamber of deputies.

Responsible Institution(s): The Secretariat of State in Charge of Governance and Civil Service

Supporting Institution(s): The Ministry of Justice, The Committee of Governance and Corruption Fight, the Chamber of Deputies, the Legal Advisor

Start Date: July 2014 End Date: June 2016

Commitment aim

This commitment set out to draft three key pieces of legislation to comply with the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC). They were to focus on three anti-corruption themes: whistleblower protection, asset disclosure, and illicit enrichment. The areas of concern identified by the draft laws had been studied extensively by international partners, such as OECD and United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and were discussed with civil society in multiple forums. According to a 2014 OECD report on asset declaration and integrity in public administration, Tunisia’s legal framework is considered below international standards.[Note 1: OECD, “Renforcer l’Intégrité en Tunisie: L’Élaboration de Normes pour les Agents Publics et le Renforcement du Sysèème de Déclaration de Patrimoine,” 2014, http://bit.ly/1KbT6N9.]


Status

Midterm: Limited

In March 2015, the General Manager of the Governance Unit at the Presidency of the Government announced that a commission involving several ministries had prepared three anti-corruption draft laws: one concerning whistleblowers protection, another concerning illicit enrichment, and a third concerning government officials’ asset disclosures. As of 3 September 2015, the draft laws were available on a UNDP-sponsored website.[Note 2: Government of Tunisia, Draft Whistleblowers Protection Law, 3 September 2015, http://bit.ly/1OpsdqH; Government of Tunisia, Draft Asset Disclosure Law, 3 September 2015, http://bit.ly/1TTfgZY; Government of Tunisia, Draft Illicit Enrichment Law, 3 September 2015, http://bit.ly/1RAOms.] No timeline was given for official publication, for a comment period, or for when the draft laws would be forwarded to the Chamber of Deputies. For more information, please see the 2014-2015 IRM Midterm Progress Report.

End of term: Limited

According to the government,[Note 3: Interview with OGP focal point team members, Rim Garnaoui and Chiraz Ben Tahar, 9 September 2016.] the draft law on whistleblower protection was approved by the Council of Ministers on 14 June 2016, and submitted to Parliament on 16 June 2016.[Note 4: Government of Tunisia, Draft law on whistleblowers protection submitted to Parliament, http://www.arp.tn/site/projet/AR/fiche_proj.jsp?cp=94610.] Discussions within the Commission of Rights, Freedom, and External Relations began on 15 November 2016, and are ongoing, albeit delayed.[Note 5: Commision on Rights and Freedoms and Foreign Relations, 8 February 2017, http://majles.marsad.tn/2014/chroniques/589b0b88cf441237ac61edf6.] A member of the National Instance of the Fight Against Corruption (Mrs. Najet Basha) explained the delay in terms of resistance within the public administration, as well as some officials’ fears of being harassed and/or punished if they advocated for the advancement of the legislation. On 16 November 2016, the main anti-corruption watchdog in Tunisia (I-Watch) presented its recommendations regarding the law.[Note 6: I Watch: propositions pour la protection des lanceurs d’alerte, 16 November 2016, http://bit.ly/2rmW3Iu. ] These included a proposal to incorporate whistleblower protection within the private sector.[Note 7: Achref Aouadi, Interview given on radio Mosaique FM website, http://www.mosaiquefm.net/fr/actualite-national-tunisie/51066/i-watch-propositions-pour-la-protection-des-lanceurs-d-alerte.html#volume.]

The law on illicit enrichment was submitted to Parliament on 31 December 2015.[Note 8: Tunisian Repository of Laws “Marsad Majles”:  Proposal for Organic Law N 83/2015 on Transparecy and the Fight Against Illicit Enrichment. Accessed 26 May 2017.

 http://majles.marsad.tn/2014/fr/lois/56d6c9de12bdaa76dc89cf9b.] The government reported that it had held a technical meeting in March 2016 to discuss the integration of the two draft laws on asset disclosure and illicit enrichment.[Note 9: Government of Tunisia, Self Assessment Report 2016] However, there has been no further progress on the commitment.

Did it open government?­­

Access to information: Did not change

Public accountability: Did not change

Corruption was seen as the main cause of the 2011 revolution in Tunisia, so strengthening anti-corruption legislation remained a priority for civil society. Civil society organisations, such as I-Watch and OpenGov, emphasised the critical importance of these laws for fighting impunity and financial misappropriation in Tunisia. Abdelhamid Jarmouni from OpenGov, an independent group that has been working on open government and open data in Tunisia since November 2011, believes this commitment could fill the legal gap in reinforcing whistleblower and transparency tools.

Since none of the laws were passed, this commitment did not lead to any changes in access to information or public accountability.

Carried forward?

This commitment was not carried forward to the second action plan. As these laws are critical to the fight against corruption, the IRM researcher suggests taking the necessary steps to pass them, including holding a public consultation with civil society and anti-corruption experts during the discussion of the laws in Parliament.


Tunisia's Commitments

  1. right to information

    TN0036, 2018, Capacity Building

  2. open data framework

    TN0037, 2018, Capacity Building

  3. Access to geographic information

    TN0038, 2018, E-Government

  4. open transport data

    TN0039, 2018, E-Government

  5. Improve water resource governance

    TN0040, 2018, E-Government

  6. Join EITI

    TN0041, 2018, Capacity Building

  7. open contracting in hydrocarbons

    TN0042, 2018, Capacity Building

  8. anti-corruption framework

    TN0043, 2018, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  9. participatory budgeting

    TN0044, 2018, Audits and Controls

  10. youth participation

    TN0045, 2018, Marginalized Communities

  11. Implement initiatives to apply the OGP at the local level

    TN0046, 2018, E-Government

  12. online administrative services

    TN0047, 2018, Capacity Building

  13. access to civil service

    TN0048, 2018, Capacity Building

  14. Joining the extractive industries transparency initiative "EITI"

    TN0021, 2016, Capacity Building

  15. Modernizing the regulatory framework to enforce the Right to Access to Information

    TN0022, 2016, Capacity Building

  16. The completion of the legal and regulatory framework of open data at the national level

    TN0023, 2016, Capacity Building

  17. Improve the transparency and local Gov Openness

    TN0024, 2016, Capacity Building

  18. Enhance the transparency in the cultural sector : “open culture”

    TN0025, 2016, Capacity Building

  19. Enhance the transparency in the environment and sustainable development sector

    TN0026, 2016, Aid

  20. Enhancing transparency in the transport sector

    TN0027, 2016, Capacity Building

  21. Promoting financial and fiscal transparency

    TN0028, 2016, Fiscal Transparency

  22. Elaborating a legal framework for citizen’s petitions

    TN0029, 2016, Capacity Building

  23. Developing an integrated electronic civil petition and corruption reporting platform

    TN0030, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  24. Developing new mechanisms to promote interaction with the youth and enable them to pursue dialogue about public policies

    TN0031, 2016, Capacity Building

  25. Adopting the corporate governance referential on the sectoral level

    TN0032, 2016, Capacity Building

  26. Developing mobile applications which could be downloaded on the mobile phone to reinforce transparency of government activities and participatory approach

    TN0033, 2016, Capacity Building

  27. Enhancing access to the archive

    TN0034, 2016, Capacity Building

  28. The development of an electronic mechanism to ensure transparency of Public Servants recruitment

    TN0035, 2016, Capacity Building

  29. strengthening legal framework for corruption fight

    TN0001, 2014, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  30. Developing an integrated electronic civil petition and corruption reporting platform

    TN0002, 2014, E-Government

  31. Publishing an annual report on audit activities in public sector

    TN0003, 2014, Audits and Controls

  32. Review of the legal framework of personal data protection and ensuring conformity with article 24 of Tunisian constitution

    TN0004, 2014, Human Rights

  33. Developing an Open Data Portal

    TN0005, 2014, Infrastructure & Transport

  34. Preparing a national corporate governance repository

    TN0006, 2014, E-Government

  35. Establishing a legal framework that regulates communication and interaction within public sector and between public structures and citizens with usage of ICT

    TN0007, 2014, E-Government

  36. Simplifying administrative procedures

    TN0008, 2014, E-Government

  37. Develop a number of administrative services on-line

    TN0009, 2014, E-Government

  38. Enhancing people participation in the decision-making process

    TN0010, 2014, E-Government

  39. Capacity-building of civil servants and citizens in the area of open governance

    TN0011, 2014, Capacity Building

  40. Creation of a structure specialized in training in the governance area

    TN0012, 2014, Capacity Building

  41. publication of budget reports

    TN0013, 2014, Audits and Controls

  42. Development of the open budget system

    TN0014, 2014, Fiscal Transparency

  43. Use of the data extracted from the application dedicated to budget management (ADEB) in public sector

    TN0015, 2014, E-Government

  44. publication of reports related to attribution and execution of public procurement and audit results

    TN0016, 2014, Audits and Controls

  45. publication of recommandations included in audit reports of public procurement

    TN0017, 2014, Audits and Controls

  46. Development of an "Open Data" platform dedicated to information dealing with oil and mine sector investment

    TN0018, 2014, Extractive Industries

  47. Improve transparency in the area of infrastructure projects

    TN0019, 2014, Infrastructure & Transport

  48. Devoting transparency in the environment field

    TN0020, 2014, E-Government