Rabat – “Corruption is a plague we must fight,” says Justice Minister Mohamed Aujjar, explaining that his department is working on 61 projects to battle corruption at the legislative and institutional levels.
Though Transparency International’s 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index rank the rate of corruption in Morocco below the global average score of 43, the kingdom scored 37 points and was placed 90th out of 176 countries. In Morocco, “traditional politicians fail to tackle corruption, leading people grow cynical,” says the report’s authors.
Worst still, according to the Minister of Economy and Finance, corruption not only causes citizen confidence to taper off, but also “blocks the path to better economic performance.”
“Corruption is rife in state and economic institutions and the economy. And despite the government’s rhetoric on combating corruption, it has a mixed record on enforcement,” Freedom House states, further highlighting the foul play of power and money in Morocco.
Aujjar wants to put an end to this epidemic by “adopting practical steps and approaches,” including the consolidation and restructuring of the departments responsible for financial crime, both in terms of infrastructure and the workforce.
Meanwhile, the Department of Justice is also developing anti-corruption training sessions and drafting an amendment to the Penal Code in order to harmonize it with the United Nations Convention on the fight against corruption.
Likewise, Aujjar says that his department is developing an electronic application to monitor the criminal record and launching “an alert number” on corruption.
These policies also include the modernization of the judicial system, training bodies to specialize in corruption crimes and analyze legal and judicial data related to corruption.
Among these measures, Aujjar mentioned the promotion of transparency and the right to information, the modernization of administrative procedures and the simplification of access to justice.
“Building citizen trust in government and public institutions” is one of the main objectives of Aujjar’s policy.
In addition, the minister said that his department is studying the National Strategy against Corruption, which strengthens the criminal justice system, in collaboration with the departments of the Interior and Public Service, the Royal Gendarmerie, the General Directorate of National Security, the Customs and Taxes Administration and the Office of the High Commissioner for Water and Forests.
Regarding international cooperation, Aujjar said that the ministry works in collaboration with several international bodies, to incorporate their experience in the fight against corruption, including through technical assistance and training of human resources.
On an ambitious note, Aujjar claimed that the government has developed a national plan to end all forms of corruption by 2050.