Country Governance

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POGAR > Countries > Country Theme: Anti-Corruption: Egypt
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UN Conventions and Other Agreements

United Nations Convention against Corruption: signed 9 December 2003, ratified on 25 February 2005.

United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime: signed 13 December 2000, ratified 5 March 2004.

Egypt 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.

Egypt does not have a national chapter of Transparency Internationa.

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Government Institutions and Initiatives

The powerful Administrative Control Authority is an arm of the presidency, not the parliament, as are two investigative agencies of the prosecutor general, whom the president appoints and may dismiss. The Administrative Control Authority investigates corruption in the public sector and refers its allegations to the Supreme State Security Courts, which are responsible for the prosecution of these cases. These courts convicted several businessmen and officials in 2002, including a former Finance Minister, a former Attorney General, the former governor of Giza and some members of parliament. The rulings in these cases dealt out long prison sentences and large fines.

The Central Audit Agency’s annual reports offer valuable information about patterns of government expenditure, although they are accessible only to select journalists and others who have access to parliamentary documents. The head of the agency is nominated by the president, confirmed by parliament and can only be relieved of his/her duties by the president. The agency can investigate unions and syndicates, the media, political parties, government agencies and any public enterprises, but it cannot supervise or investigate private sector companies unless they are at least 25% owned by the Egyptian Government.

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Civil Society Initiatives

Transparency International has supporters in Egypt, but institutions that can play a role in investigating and curtailing corruption are severely restricted by laws and institutional limitations. NGOs are crippled due to law no. 84 of 2002 that imposes severe restrictions upon them; likewise, newspapers are faced with heavy fines and penalties for going after government officials. Finally the parliament, which can perform an important function in checking on corruption, has been dwarfed by the powers of the presidency.

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Public Procurement

The Law on Organizing Tenders and Bids (No. 89) of 1998 applies in general to all public tenders and procurement. Starting in 2003, the General Organization for the Governmental Services took charge of all the Public Procurement Tenders on behalf of five ministries, including those of Finance, Trade and Industry, and has been developing a national data base of suppliers so as to apply the new system to the other ministries as well.

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Anti Money Laundering

Law No. 80, Egypt’s first anti-money laundering legislation, was issued on May 22, 2002. The law dictated the creation of a special semi-independent unit within the Central Bank to combat and investigate money laundering. The unit is to investigate any suspicious activity in any financial institution and to share information with the prosecutor general’s office. All financial institutions are obligated by law to inform the agency of any suspicious behavior or financial transactions. As a result of this anti money laundering activity, the Financial Action Task Force, the international body leading the charge to safeguard the global financial system against money laundering and terrorist financing, announced the removal of Egypt from its list of Non-Cooperative Countries and Territories in February 2004.

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Corruption Perception Index

Egypt scored 2.8 on Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index 2009 same as the 2008 score. The scale runs from 0 (high corruption) to 10 (no corruption). It is ranking in the 111th position among 180 countries; the same as Algeria and Djibouti, ahead of Syria but behind Morocco. Egypt was ranked 115th among the 180 countries in the world behind Lebanon but ahead of Libya in 2008. In 2007, Egypt scored 2.9 falling behind Saudi Arabia and tied with Djibouti for 105th place among 180 countries. In 2006 Egypt scored 3.3 and was tied with Saudi Arabia in the 70th place among 163 countries.

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