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Good Governance and anti-corruption in Tunisia

The project “Good Governance and Anti-Corruption” supported the Tunisian government to improve the citizen-state relationship, governance efficiency and transparency, and inclusiveness and opportunities for marginalised groups.A strategic and sustainable response to corruption is public integrity. Integrity is one of the key pillars of political, economic and social structures and thus essential to the economic and social well-being and prosperity of individuals and societies as a whole.

 

With the financial support of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the UK, the OECD implemented this project in close cooperation with its Tunisian counterparts from 2017 until 2020.

 

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Citizens

Logo citizens webCitizen charters 

Tunisian citizens perceive corruption as the 3rd main problem in the country after unemployment and the management of the economy, but 59% of Tunisians believe they can make a difference in the fight against corruption.

 

The OECD supported Tunisian authorities to introduce citizen charters – a simple yet powerful accountability tool at the interface between citizens and service providers.

 

The Tunisian government issued a decree that made the adoption of citizen charters mandatory for all public authorities in direct contact with the public (Decree No. 2018-1067 of 25 December 2018) and a circular (Circular 17 of 5 August 2019) presenting the methodology to develop citizen charters.

 

The project supported the development, implementation and monitoring of citizen charters for six pilot services. 

Sample citizen charters 

 

 

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Citizens charter Tunisia

Visit the citizen charter website

 

 

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of commitments implemented after less than 1 year       

CSOs involved in the development and monitoring of citizen charter commitments

Waste collection in Tozeur takes place every 2 days, compared to every 4-5 days previously

Waiting time for each of the 29 services of the Sahloul hospital in Sousse displayed in the waiting hall 

Increase in local tax collection by the municipality of Béja in 2019 compared to 2018 

Public Administration

Public Administration

Governance Units

 

Many institutions are working on fighting corruption in Tunisia. Overlaps in their competences and lack of coordination among them undermine the efficiency of the anti-corruption structure as a whole. Governance units were created in Tunisia in 2016 in each ministry, governorate, capital municipality and state-owned enterprise to coordinate integrity efforts, including the application of good governance principles, the monitoring of compliance with codes of ethics, and the prevention and follow-up of corruption cases.

 

The OECD supported the Presidency of Government to strengthen the harmonisation of governance units’ functions, the efficient implementation of their mandate and coordination among the units. 

 
     

 

   

Access to Information

 

Tunisia adopted a new law guaranteeing access to information in 2016. The OECD supported coordination among the Government, the National Access to Information Commission (INAI) and civil society to ensure a coherent implementation of the law.

 

The group developed joint instructions on the implementation of the law, benefitting public officials from the 647 institutions that are covered by the Access to information law. 

 
   

 Public Audit

 

The 2014 OECD review of Tunisia’s control and audit system stressed that audit recommendations rarely resulted in the expected change since there is no mechanism to monitor their implementation. The OECD supported the High Committee for Administrative and Financial Affairs (HCCAF) in testing and adopting a new and more efficient method for the follow-up of audit recommendations: the proximity follow-up approach. As a result, the percentage of addressed audit recommendations increased from 43% to over 80%.

 

The OECD also supported the three general control bodies (the general control body for Civil Service, for Finance and for for state property and land affairs) to apply risk-based auditing. This method allows selecting high-risk areas prone to corruption and thus making the best use of limited time and human resources.

 

In addition, the OECD supported ministerial inspectorates to adopt more efficient and harmonised working methods in line with international standards as well as common standards for ethical behaviour of inspectors.

   

Guides for auditors and inspectors

 
   
                      Code d’éthique de l’inspecteur administratif - cover   ‌

 

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Heads of governance benefited from a capacity building programme

Public institutions benefit from guidelines on the implementation of the 2016 ATI Law

Audit reports were subject to a proximity follow up since 2017

Inspectors benefited from a capacity building programme (50% of Tunisia’s inspectors)

Controllers benefited from a capacity building programme (80% of Tunisia’s controllers)

Business enabling environment

A business-enabling environment

Access to public contracts

Risk management in public procurement

   

SMEs represent an estimated 90% of Tunisian companies and 65% of employment, but only 17% of public contracts are awarded to SMEs. A number of barriers limit SME’s access to procurement opportunities and it has been found that e-procurement is an effective tool to alleviate these barriers in procurement access.

The OECD supported the High Authority for Public Procurement (HAICOP) to strengthen the uptake of Tunisia’s e-procurement platform TUNEPS through continuous capacity building for public buyers and suppliers, focusing in particular on SMEs owned by women and youth. 

An estimated 25% of the volume of public contracts is lost by the State to corruption. To reduce vulnerabilities to corruption, the OECD supported HAICOP in the development of a risk management strategy for public procurement. Five large-scale public buyers were accompanied in the implementation of this strategy and the development of the necessary tailored risk management tools. 

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Guides on public procurement

 

             

   

 Access to coaching in the post-creation phase 

Access to justice services 

   

SMEs are the backbone of Tunisia’s economy but 80% of SMEs in Tunisia fail in the five first years after creation, compared to 50% internationally. Therefore, the OECD assisted the Bank Financing Small and Medium Enterprises (BFPME) to create a team of “post-creation” coaches in Tunis and its 24 regional offices, building their capacities to support SMEs overcoming the challenges of the early development stages.

The OECD provided capacity building to the reception personnel of all the 15 chambers of the Administrative Tribunal to improve information and orientation of citizens and SMEs.

 

Furthermore, the project helped to unify the procedures to file an appeal (in arabic) and to apply for legal aid (in arabic) at the Administrative Tribunal. Citizens and SMEs have now an official document at their disposal, which describes the necessary steps and required documents to file an appeal and to apply for legal aid, in a simple and easy-accessible language.

 

 

 

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SMEs trained on the use of the e-procurement platform TUNEPS

public officials trained on applying risk management in public procurement

BFPME staff members trained to coach SMEs in the post-creation phase

reception officers of the 15 chambers of the Administrative Tribunal were trained in communication and conflict resolution

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For more information on the project, please contact:

Amira Tlili ([email protected])

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