Clean construction system
Adopting a clean construction system (CCS) / ministry of equipment and housing by June 2020.
This commitment is specific and can be easily monitored since CCS consists of specific standards and measurements which will move Tunisia towards achieving recognised international standards in the construction industry.
This commitment could be considered measurable as it consists of clear deliverables that are part of CCS, such as transparency mechanisms, access to information and open data enforcement. We can identify the steps and actions that must be adopted by the ministry according to the CCS implementation steps.
proactive information dissemination, innovation and improving efficiency of construction governance and practicing a clean construction administration.
There has been no progress on this new commitment and, when making the commitment, there was no proof of any reforms to implement a clean construction system within the Ministry of Housing and Equipment.
Nonetheless, the ministry made a few steps to improve its governance and transparency. They consist mainly of capacity building sessions and training courses for the several administrative officials of the ministry on: national governance reference, governance integrity mechanisms, corruption prevention, good governance of the state’s public property, such as roads, public institutions, public procurement and financial and administrative control.1
On 9 December 2017, the ministry signed a partnership agreement with the national anti-corruption authority23 as part of the ministry’s involvement in national and governmental efforts to counter corruption. It also aims to make the ministry a model of good practices of good governance and to work in accordance with the principles of transparency and integrity.
The ministry has not adopted any clean construction system officially; it keeps its archaic procedures despite the fact that adopting CCS would minimise the difficulties in law enforcement and enhance transparency.
Challenges to effective commitment implementation
The Ministry of Equipment and Housing has not started a clean construction system due to the lack of political will to initiate reforms in the sector.
Given the political instability and the change of governments in the country, the adoption of such a system was not a priority despite highly corrupt public transactions and, administrative officials, and legal abuses.
In some cases, fraud, bribery and favouritism are used to win publicly funded deals and offers. For example, the Yakedh Advocacy and legal advising Center (I WATCH organisation)YALAC4 investigated suspected corruption in Jendouba’s regional hospital. Falsified application files were alleged to have been used to win a public procurement contract for construction, but due to impunity, no one was convicted.5 6
To adopt a clean construction system, a national action plan or strategy needs to be implemented by government. There have to be reforms and guarantees that legislation will be applied.
The Tunisian government should reform its existing law regulating public transactions when it comes to publicly funded construction in order to enhance transparency. A system of monitoring, evaluation and accountability mechanisms should be set up in accordance with international measures and requirements: proactive publishing of public information, open data adoption and adopting transparent measures for public transactions.
The government should enhance the implementation of open data within the ministry with its different administrations, ensure better cooperation with the various stakeholders, including NGOs and the private sector, and apply a participatory approach with NGOs and construction companies working within their remits, which should be outlined in the laws on a clean construction system.
- Ministry of housing and equipment, http://equipement.tn/fileadmin/user_upload/Statistics/ProgrammeFormationMinEquipement2018.pdf2018
- Ministry of housing and equipment, Cooperation Convention with anti-corruption authority, https://bit.ly/3fdPEc29 November 2017
- Ministry of housing and equipment, https://bit.ly/3iiXtNC12 November 2017
- Yakedh Advocacy and legal advising Center, https://billkamcha.yalac.tn/·
- I WATCH, والي جندوبة يأذن بترميم الفساد في صفقة عموميّة!, https://www.iwatch.tn/ar/article/612September 2018
- I WATCH, بجندوبة التحيّل والمحاباة طرقا معبّدة للصفقات العمومية, https://www.iwatch.tn/ar/article/520July 2018