Kurdistan Region announces anti-corruption commission's efforts so far this year

KRG Integrity Commission head Ahmed Anwar speaks at a press conference in Erbil, Aug. 9, 2021. (Photo: Kurdistan 24)
KRG Integrity Commission head Ahmed Anwar speaks at a press conference in Erbil, Aug. 9, 2021. (Photo: Kurdistan 24)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Region's Integrity Commission gave a public accounting on Monday detailing its activities during the first half of 2021.

"The first six months of this year witnessed the registration of 197 cases of corruption and investigations were launched in 53 of them," said Commission head Ahmed Anwar in a press conference in the regional capital of Erbil.

"There are 224 corruption files for the previous years," he said, as well as "445 cases for sentencing, including 158 cases for the year 2021."

"Eight cases were closed this year and 67 reports were carried out to investigate corruption cases," the official continued, noting that "697 financial disclosure forms were filled out during the current year for officials and public sector employees of the regional government."

Anwar also revealed an upcoming two-year plan to monitor corruption cases in the higher education sector, in cooperation with relevant UN agencies and the region’s Ministry of Interior.

Regional Prime Minister Masrour Barzani has often stated that fighting corruption is a top priority of his cabinet, arguing that corruption damages the economy and undermines people's belief in the government.

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In mid-January 2020, the Kurdistan Parliament passed the highly-touted Reform Bill, aimed at curbing institutional graft, eliminating so-called "ghost employees," and "fairness" to the public pension system, according to the parliament’s website. The passage came following the KRG’s submission of the reform plan in December 2019.

Related Article: Kurdistan Region parliament votes to pass landmark Reform Bill

The law, consisting of 19 articles, focuses on introducing reforms in retirement, salaries, allowances, grants, and benefits within the new government’s work program in the region.

Over the past few years, senior Kurdish leaders have repeatedly stressed that combating corruption is no less important than the ongoing fight against ISIS. 

Editing by John J. Catherine