UN Conventions and Other Agreements
United Nations Convention against Corruption: signed 11 December 2003, ratified 7 November 2005.
United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime: signed 15 December 2000, not ratified.
Yemen is a founding member of the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force, established on 30 November 2004 as a voluntary regional association to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
The Yemen Transparency Forum for Civil Society, founded in 2000, is a national chapter in formation of Transparency International.
Government Institutions and Initiatives
Law 39 (2006) establishes an independent Supreme National Authority for Fighting Corruption, consisting of eleven “well known, qualified, honest, and experienced” individuals to be elected by parliament from a list of thirty candidates proposed by the Shura Council. The deputy prime minister and minister of international cooperation, Ahmed Sofan, had announced in December 2005 that the government remained committed to fighting corruption through the establishment of a higher body to tackle the issue. "The government has taken actions, such as the issuing of identity cards to eliminate ghost workers, and the introduction of the financial disclosure law that requires all senior public officials to declare their assets and incomes," he claimed. Members of Yemen’s parliament established a ‘Parliamentarians Against Corruption’ organization in December 2005. The Central Organization for Controlling and Audit (COCA) revealed a list of 55 cases of corruption over the first half of 2005.
Minister of Oil and Minerals, Khaled Bahah, announced on August 12, 2007 that the Yemeni government has decided to establish a supreme transparency board called “The Yemeni Transparency Council” so as to implement the international Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. The council is composed of representative of the ministries of planning and international cooperation, petroleum, and finance, in addition to the private sector which is represented by oil producing companies, as well as members of relevant civil society organizations. An international company would be entrusted with auditing and reviewing all data related to technical and financial oil operations.
Civil Society Initiatives
Yemen has a national chapter in formation of Transparency International. It celebrated Anti-Corruption Day in December 2005, and it advised parliament in the drafting of law 39 of 2006 establishing an independent anti-corruption authority. A number of Yemeni journalists and writers announced on November 7, 2007 the formation of an alliance against corruption called “Journalists Against Corruption”. The founders defined the objective of the alliance as effective participation in combating corruption and enhancing the principles of good governance in an organized and systematic way that enable the press to play a decisive role in this regard. The Alliance includes 41 journalists, in addition to a number of writers, lawyers, academicians and parliamentarians who are concerned with the issue of corruption. The Alliance would publish monthly, quarterly and annual reports on disclosed corruption cases and on the extent of adherence of state institutions to the rule of law, transparency, accountability and fighting bribery. These reports would be submitted to the Combating Corruption Commission, the central audit bureau and the attorney general. The Alliance coordinates efforts with volunteer lawyers to follow up on corruption cases in courts and other official bodies.
The Parliament approved a law in 2006 establishing the National Authority of Tenders, Bidding, and the State’s warehouses. This independent technical committee for tendering was then reinforced by law 39 (2006) establishing the Supreme National Authority for Fighting Corruption, an independent eleven-person body elected by parliament.
Anti Money Laundering
Parliament passed an anti-money laundering law in 2003 that sets prison terms of up to five years for people convicted of money laundering and allows for the extradition of non-Yemenis. The president established an anti-money laundering committee to implement the law. The Yemeni Council of Ministers then approved on November 7, 2007 a new draft law for combating money laundering and financing of terrorism that was prepared by the Ministry of Finance and the Committee for Combating Money Laundering. The Council also approved submitting the draft law to the parliament for discussion and adopting the necessary constitutional procedures to promulgate it. The new draft law aims at mending the deficiency in the money laundering law No. 35/2003, which lacks any articles concerning the regulatory provisions of disclosure. The new law builds on similar Arab legislations, on the guiding model Arab law for combating money laundering and on the Arab Agreement for Combating Terrorism approved by the councils of Arab ministers of interior and the council of Arab ministers of justice.
Corruption Perception Index
Yemen scored 2.1 on Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index 2009. The scale runs from 0 (high corruption) to 10 (no corruption). It is in the 154th position among 180 countries, placing it ahead of Iraq but behind Libya. Yemen had scored 2.3 in 2008 and was ranked 141 among the 180 countries in the world and almost last among the 18 Arab countries barely ahead of Syria and Iraq. In 2007, it scored 2.5 Yemen was ranked 131 among 180 countries, tied with Iran and Libya but ahead of Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, and Syria. In 2006 Yemen scored 2.6 and was ranked 111th among 163 countries.