Diyala, Salahaddin and Kirkuk among cleanest provinces

Integrity Commission: High, unacceptable bribe cases at government Offices

By KirkukNow

Diyala, Salahaddin and Kirkuk were among the Iraqi provinces which recorded the lowest rates of bribery at government institutions, compared to other regions that witnessed a remarkable and unacceptable increase in bribery, according to the Federal Integrity Commission.

The Federal Integrity Commission explained in a statement on Sunday, April 24, 2022, that taking bribes from people by civil servants in order to complete their applications is record high, calling on the government for further censorship and audit and reduction of routine procedures in order to combat bribery and kickbacks.

Basra government offices recorded the highest rates of bribery ranging from 40-65% compared to 1% in the northern, oil-rich, multi-ethnic province of Kirkuk.

The commission says, "The central team of the Commission, its support teams and the teams formed in the directorates and investigation offices in Baghdad and the provinces, have surveyed the opinions of 9,880 people in 102 of the executive departments, including 13 directorates in Baghdad and 89 in other northern and southern provinces, in (536) field visits.

Diyala and Salahaddin were among those provinces where no citizen complained about bribery, registering not even a single case, ranking at the bottom of the list with 0%.

The results of the questionnaire showed that 51.4% of the visitors of state offices in Baghdad confirmed that the procedures adopted by the departments lead to delaying or impeding the completion of the transaction and 63% of the visitors stated that they paid the bribes directly to the employees.

The results of analyzing the forms obtained from the questionnaire, in cooperation with the Planning and Research Department of the Commission, showed that 12% of questionnaire participants believe the level of bribery reached 12.4%, compared to 5.6% whom actually have paid bribes.

Iraq was ranked at 157 among 180 states by the non-governmental organization Transparency International’s the 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), an index which ranks countries by perceived levels of public sector corruption, determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys.

The CPI generally defines corruption as an "abuse of power for private gain." The index is published annually by Transparency International since 1995.

Methods of bribe taking included more fees collected than the amount recorded in the official receipt that is delivered to the auditor in some departments, in addition to the registering higher fees for the experts whom receive less than what is stipulated in the instructions of the executive.

In its statement, the authority "called for facilitating procedures of the executive departments, in addition to tightening control after recording high rates of bribery in exchange for the completion of paper works for state visitors."

The commission has sent a copy of the questionnaire to the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers and the Minister of Justice, and emphasized “the need to find a mechanism for circulation of files when reviewing among the departments, instead of the auditor receiving the file, stressing the importance of using electronic archiving to preserve the contents of files and official documents.”

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