Tunis, Tunisia, 13-14 February 2012
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The OECD is strongly committed to support Tunisia in its democratic transition. Following the Jasmin Revolution in January 2011, the OECD has been in regular contact with the new Tunisian authorities, including an official visit of the Secretary General Ángel Gurría in July 2011. Anti-corruption being a key reform priority in Tunisia, the OECD has provided its expertise and knowledge to the transition government and the National Commission of Investigation of Cases of Corruption and Embezzlement which was established to investigate cases of corruption under former president Ben Ali.
With the financial support of the United Kingdom’s Arab Partnership Initiative, the OECD launched a project to strengthen the integrity and corruption prevention framework in Tunisia and develop specific integrity policies for most vulnerable areas to corruption such as public procurement. Within this project, an international conference was held in Tunis on 13-14 February followed by a technical fact finding mission. Two reports are being finalised on the setting up of a national framework for corruption prevention, and the reinforcement of transparency in public procurement.
This Conference was the first opportunity for the new government and key stakeholders (including the civil society, the judiciary, and the private sector) to discuss the integrity and anti-corruption agenda in line with international good practices and standards. Peers from Chile, France, Italy, Macedonia and the United States shared national experiences in fighting corruption during the conference. The conference was also attended by officials from the European Commission, UNDP and the African Development Bank. The conference was opened by Mr. Hamadi Jebali, Head of Government of Tunisia, Mr. Yves Leterme, Deputy Secretary General of the OECD, and Ms. Louise Burrett, chargé d’affaires at the United Kingdom Embassy in Tunisia.
Head of Government Mr. Jebali insisted on the importance of strengthening the integrity and corruption prevention framework in a country that was devastated by corruption under the old regime. From this perspective, a new Minister in charge of governance and anti-corruption has been appointed, and new initiatives will be taken in the coming months. Mr. Leterme offered the OECD support to assist the government in its efforts to fight and prevent corruption by conducting Integrity Scans to identify priority reforms.
The participants agreed on the following conclusions:
Risk areas: Identify legislative responses and appropriate policies in a coherent framework
Ensuring the successful implementation of a framework against corruption: Involving all stakeholders in the design and implementation
Conditions for success of specialized bodies against corruption
Identify priority reforms to prevent corruption
Risk areas: how to prevent and detect corruption in public procurement?
Legislative and Institutional Framework of Public Procurement: Striking the Balance between Transparency and Efficiency
Building the capacity of public purchasers