[The following report was issued by AMAN in April 2013.]
Annual Palestine Corruption Report 2012
Preparation of the annual corruption report of 2012 demonstrates the commitment of the Coalition for Integrity and Accountability – AMAN to continue its pursuit of corruption and the prosecution of the corrupt. At the same time, AMAN is fully aware of the roles played by official and private parties, led by civil society organizations (CSOs), in developing a corruptionfree society where justice and equality prevail. AMAN’s conviction stems from its firm belief in continuing the strife for ingraining the principles of integrity, transparency and accountability in the Palestinian society.
The year 2012 was a very significant year for the Palestinians due to the success of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in elevating the status of Palestine to “observer state” in the United Nations. This grants the Palestinian people the right to sign international agreements, most important of which is the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).
However, in spite of the constant meetings between the leaderships of Fatah and Hamas, no practical results to end the rift resulted. Furthermore, in 2012, ruling authorities in the West Bank and Gaza remained in breach of human rights laws; arbitrary arrests, refusal to execute court rulings, and restrictions on public freedoms, mainly freedom of speech, and the right of assembly and association. On the other hand, 2012 was significantly marked with the trial of a number of officials in the corruption court, and with the Anti-Corruption Commission launching its investigations of officials suspected of accused of corruption during the administration of the late President Yasser Arafat.
2012, also witnessed the Israeli occupation’s assault on the Gaza Strip in November. The assault lasted for eight days, during which rockets were fired upon Israeli cities in retaliation. This brought on a transformation in Israel’s “deterrence” policy, and resulted in a cease-fire agreement between Israel and the Hamas Movement in Gaza. At the same time, the Israeli occupation authority persisted with policies and actions that undermine the prospects for establishing a Palestinian state. In addition to the suffocating siege imposed on Gaza and the constant incursions on cities and towns in the West Bank, Israel has also persisted in land expropriation, expansion of settlements, construction of the annexation wall, and expansions at the expense of 1967 Palestinian lands. It also withheld the transfer of cleared tax funds belonging to the Palestinian Authority, which impeded the PA’s ability to provide services for its citizens, most detrimental of which is its incapacity to disburse salaries to its employees.
Finally, 2012 was the year in which AMAN trained all security cadres on issues of integrity and combating corruption.
This report monitors and highlights the positive and negative transformations that have occurred on the state of corruption in various Palestinian sectors of the Palestinian society in the oPt, as viewed by AMAN in its capacity as the Palestinian national chapter for Transparency International, that has taken upon itself the task of preparing the annual report on corruption in Palestine. The report discloses all actions and measures taken by some public departments and divisions that provide services to citizens or manage issues of public affairs in accordance with the law. In addition, the report scrutinizes through AMAN’s perspective the conditions, reality and effectiveness of official monitoring institutions as well as the environment of transparency and integrity in the various public, civil and private sectors. In addition, certain parts of the report do reflect citizens’ impressions towards some areas related to corruption.
This report also intends to assist decision-makers, politicians, and civil society organizations in grasping the reality of corruption during the span of one year. In that respect, AMAN employs the findings to assist in its effort pressure for change and reform. It is constantly working towards development of a national policy to combat corruption within political factions, civil society leaders and with heads of the Legislative, Judiciary and Executive powers, which in turn will translate into developing legislations, policies, procedures and measures to combat corruption. At the same time, AMAN is raising Palestinian awareness of the perils of various forms of corruption such as nepotism, favoritism, exploitation of public office, and misappropriation of public funds. It also strives to strengthen the role of independent media in overseeing the management of public affairs and their part in spreading the culture of transparency in private, public and civil society sectors.
The methodology involves relating and analyzing the changes that have transpired in the various forms of corruption during the past year. It relies on the index for measurement of integrity, transparency and accountability in administering public affairs, which AMAN had prepared.
The relevant data and information were collected through:
- Objective data: the data was collected based on facts verified by various forms of reliable documentation or through specific practical experiences, which included:
- Experiences of persons in positions of responsibility: this process involved the extraction of data and information collected through individuals in highlevel positions in order to gather accurate information directly from the source.
- Registries of public and private institutions: this process involved scrutinizing the changes in legislation, laws, general policies and decisions, in addition to the careful review of records and data on administrative and occupational performance as well as financial records.
- Data and information based on results of a public opinion poll: this involved the analysis of data collected in an opinion poll conducted in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and Jerusalem, which pinpointed the Palestinian public perception of corruption. These included:
- General public perception, which reflected the citizens’ general perspective on corruption and its nature in Palestinian society, where they perceive it to prevail, and how it affects public interest.
- Perceptions of the elite, which reflected the perspectives and opinions of experts and insiders in public life on several fronts, including the political, the economic, the media and others. This select group was often hosted by AMAN during the year to participate in a variety of workshops and focus groups, in preparation for writing this report.
[Click here to download the full report.]