67 corruption cases in February among uncertain legislative reform: PFORT

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A count of 67 corruption incidents in state institutions in February was announced in a report issued Thursday by Partners for Transparency (PFORT), also highlighting that the future of anti-corruption legislation remains uncertain in the parliament.

According to Walaa Gad, secretary-general of the NGO, the parliament has not yet completed the drafting of a law on local administrations. Moreover, the parliament did not make any progress in discussing a suggested law presented by member of parliament (MP) Anisa Hassouna to establish a unit to combat corruption.

The local administration law aims to organise local municipalities and their elections, as they continue to witness a large number of corruption incidents. According to PFORT’s numbers for February, there have been four reported cases of corruption in local municipalities.

In the NGO’s annual report for 2016, issued in January, the Ministry of Local Development ranked second in the list of state ministries with 115 cases, following the Ministry of Supply and Internal Trading that accounted for 200 cases.

As for the records of ministries in February, the supply ministry witnessed 17 cases, followed by the Ministry of Health and Population with 10 cases and the Ministry of Agriculture with 7.

The report further traced public statements of officials and events organised by state bodies related to raising awareness on combating corruption.

Most corruption cases include illegal seizure of lands, embezzlement, and black market business.

This comes as a campaign against officials’ corruption by the Administrative Control Authority in which several officials were arrested, the most recent one being the former governor of Helwan, who is being investigated on bribery charges.

Earlier in January, the National Security Prosecution Authority ordered the detention of an advisor to the Minister of Finance, caught red-handed with a bribe.

In December, the authority exposed a major corruption case involving the State Council’s purchasing manager. The case resulted in the suicide of the State Council’s former secretary general Wael Shalaby after hours of investigations.

Ministers have also been dismissed and tried on corruption charges, such as the former ministers of agriculture and supply.

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