UN Conventions and Other Agreements
United Nations Convention against Corruption: not signed.
United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime: signed 18 December 2001, ratified 5 October 2005.
Lebanon 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 Lebanese Transparency Association, founded in 1999, is a national chapter of Transparency International.
Government Institutions and Initiatives
The Audit Court (Cour des Comptes) is charged with prosecuting public employees below ministerial rank accused of violating laws pertaining to public funds, but prosecuting ministers requires parliamentary approval, and no government authority is specifically tasked with rooting out corruption in either the public or private sector. In June 2006 the Council of Ministers was discussing the possibility that Lebanon might sign the United Nations Convention Against Corruption launched in 2003.
Civil Society Initiatives
A branch of Transparency International actively operates in Lebanon. The Lebanese Transparency Association established a Lebanese Corporate Governance Task Force to assess existing practices and promote higher business standards and better governance practices in both the private and public sectors. It has held public conferences and established specialized subcommittees on accounting and auditing, legal and regulatory activity, media and communications, and fundraising, to develop wider support in the private sector. It publishes an annual report and numerous other publications designed to enlighten public opinion about the various forms corruption takes in the public and private sectors and in reconstruction projects. In June 2006 it launched a new code of corporate governance for small and medium enterprises. The Lebanese Association of Chartered Accountants also works to promote clarity in financial institutions and operations in the country.
The Public Procurement Directorate, established in 1959 as an administrative arm of the Council of Ministers, supervises the procurement process and approves all contracts exceeding LL 75 million ($50,000). The Public Accounting Law requires a public tender for the procurement of all other goods and services exceeding LL 0.8 million, except for the army and public security services. Domestically financed tenders usually favor Lebanese over foreign bids if they are no more than 10 per cent higher, and the tenders are generally published in the press and the Official Gazette. The authorities are preparing a new procurement code to enforce greater fairness and transparency.
Anti Money Laundering
The Special Investigation Commission of the BDL implements Law No. 318 of April 20, 2001, Lebanon’s law against money laundering. The Commission’s auditors are exempted from the provisions of the Banking Secrecy Law of September 3, 1956. As a result of the stiff new legislation and implementation of the law against money laundering, the Financial Action Task Force of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) formally ended monitoring Lebanon’s banking system in October 2003.
Corruption Perception Index
Lebanon scored 2.5 on Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index 2009. The scale runs from 0 (high corruption) to 10 (no corruption). It is ranking 130th among 180 countries, ahead of Yemen but behind Syria. Lebanon had scored 3.0 in 2008 and ranked 102nd among the 180 countries in the world now behind Algeria but still ahead of Egypt. In 2007, Lebanon scored 3.0 tied with Algeria in 99th place, ahead of Egypt, among 190 countries. In 2006 Lebanon scored 3.6, ahead of Egypt but behind Tunisia, in 63rd place among 163 countries.