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Panelists highlighted the strong will and commitment of the Moroccan government to fight corruption.
The Moroccan government’s commitment to fighting corruption was underscored during a February 16 panel, co-hosted by the Moroccan Embassy in Washington, D.C. and the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI). The panel, held at ABA ROLI headquarters, featured Abdesselam Aboudrar, president of L’Instance Centrale de Prévention de la Corruption (ICPC), Morocco’s national anti-corruption agency and ABA ROLI partner, and Stuart Gilman, an ABA ROLI anti-corruption expert. In his opening remarks, the Moroccan Ambassador to the United States Aziz Mekouar set the tone, saying, “voting is very important. Free speech is very important. But the most important thing is the rule of law.”
During his remarks, Aboudrar provided an overview of major ICPC accomplishments in 2010, including the creation of a portal that allows small-to-medium sized businesses to report corruption and the drafting of a whistleblower protection law. Looking ahead, Aboudrar discussed the hosting, in October 2011, of the Conference of State Parties of United Nations Convention against Corruption and developing a public sector code of ethics.
Gilman praised the important work of the ICPC and its efforts to combat corruption, stating, “corruption is a global problem, and we need to work globally to solve it. Morocco is a critical partner, not just because of its location, but because it created a model for other countries to follow.” Gilman also acknowledged that while the ICPC has been effective, it faces some challenges, like the fact that it has many responsibilities but little official authority.
The event comes on the heels of important ICPC developments. In January, its general assembly—which is composed of representatives from government, professional organizations, academia and civil society—agreed to introduce legislation that would streamline the ICPC’s operational structure. The legislative changes would provide ICPC staff with greater decision making authority and perhaps even extend the agency's institutional mandate beyond preventive actions to include auditing functions. Additionally, during Aboudrar’s stay in Washington, D.C., the ICPC received approval to hire an additional 20 employees, more than doublings its current staff.
As part of a U.S. Department of State-funded anti-corruption program in Morocco, ABA ROLI has provided ICPC with technical support. Efforts thus far have included developing a communications strategy and a public awareness campaign, enhancing the ICPC mandate and its organizational structure, drafting key pieces of anti-corruption legislation—such as conflict of interest and whistleblower protection laws—and creating a curriculum to support citizen ethics.
To learn more about ABA ROLI’s work in Morocco, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.