Dec 13, 2010

Somaliland: Newly Established Commission to Fight Corruption

Following the 2010 elections, good governance continues to deepen in Somaliland with the recent establishment of the Good Governance and Anti-Corruption Commission. The institution aims to guarantee an effective, transparent and accountable state system.

Below is an article published by SomalilandPress:

The chairman of the Good Governance and Anti-Corruption Commission, H.E Ahmed Muhumed Madar, gave an overview about the work of their office which is part of the new government structure, a newly established commission started with Government of H.E President Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud Silanyo. This commission was established with a presidential decree with which the President appointed this new office.

A journalist from SomalilandPress, Abdiqani Hussein Baynah, and VOA, Ismail Hussein Farjar visited the office of the commission. During the visit, the journalists met with the commission chairman, Ahmed Muhumed Madar, the deputy chairman, Hussein Abdillahi and the director general, Mohamed Hassan Saed (Ex-Somaliland Ambassador to Ethiopia) and conducted an interview with the chairman of the commission who mentioned that they have started the establishment of the commission.

The chairman warned against the government officers to be corrupt and called for them to be honest for their nation.

Interview took place as follows:

S: Mr Chairman, can you give us an overview how the work of your office is going on?

J: This office of the Good Governance and Anti-corruption Commission is a new office which did not exist during the previous administrations. It is a new initiative which the newly elected government recently appointed.
[…] For the last 50 years between the colonial period up to now, the different administrations […] caused backwardness and corruption affected this nation. This commission was created to correct and fight against corruption. The scope of work of this commission is not only about financial theft but to improve and correct the system of governance of this nation and to ensure Somaliland citizens to get an effective, transparent and accountable system of governance capable of effective service delivery, [including the sectors of] education and health, and which protects and properly manages the resources of the nation.

S: Two days earlier, December 9, was the international anti-corruption day. Each year, presentations are made world-wide, so, how did your commission participate in this international day?

J: Our commission has existed for less than a year, a few months. On such an important occasion, we take the opportunity to give an overview about this commission and what was achieved so far. This commission was recently established by presidential decree and will go through all legal procedures of establishing a commission. […] Nothing has existed before us. You can witness, we achieved to establish this office.
We recently advertized senior management staff of this commission with clear terms of reference. We believe in equal opportunity with free and fair recruitment processes and that is why we posted our vacancies in the media through CSC. We need to become a role model for the public and private institutions.
Apart from this day, which United National recognized as the international anti-corruption day and started in 2003, we are a nation of 100% Muslims, and […] our religion prohibits corruption.
For the last 50 years, different administrations ruling this country created a negative culture. Before, it was a shame to point out corrupt people who stole public resources as gentlemen […]. Our religion order us to avoid corruption which is good for our life in this world and for the judgment of Allah on the last day.

S: Corruption takes place from two sides, from the side of citizens and from the side of government officers. Mostly, it is difficult to make officials accountable. Since you opened a new page, at what level are you ensuring the public that you will be independent and make officials accountable from the side of government?

J: We have full confidence from the President, it is his ambition to create this commission. We have full confidence from the public because they felt how corruption affected them. Confidence from officials too and they understood the reality.
We like to collaborate all, as we promised and work together against corruption and overcome bad governance. We need to restore a culture of good governance in which people recognize those pinching public resources as thieves. A culture, in which every citizen think about protecting his dignity and name.

S: If you face corruption cases, do you plan to present those and how do you intend to present those?

J: Actually, the government has different institutions. The investigators and judiciaries of these cases have their own institutions with the legal jurisdiction.

We will have cooperation with institutions having a legal mandate to work on these cases. Our mandate is beyond financially related corruption. It starts from the punctuality of working hours of the nation and ranges up to the theft of finances. If cases need court involvement, our commission will collaborate with police, intelligence, security and courts.