New legal framework for public service
Establish a new legal framework for public service that will enshrine the principles of fairness and merit and includes specific requirements for high-level posts and sensitive public functions to prevent from the dangers of corruption by December 2019.
This commitment is specific as it targets the narrow policy area of the public service legal framework. Fulfilling this commitment could take the country to an advanced level in its measures to counter corruption.
The commitment is measurable enough to be monitored as it identifies some clarifications and specific actions. It mentions specific requirements to be included in the draft law which strengthens transparency and prevent corruption.
The establishment of a legal framework for public service that will enshrine the principles of fairness and merit and focus on high-level posts and sensitive public functions is a continuation of existing and ongoing work.
This commitment was made in 2018 while Law no. 2018-46, declaring property and interests, and measures to counter illicit enrichment and conflicts of interest in the public sector was ratified on 1 August 2018.
This law was followed by an explanatory, application text, governmental order n°818 of 2018, which mentions in its first article that “the aim of this law is to promote transparency and to consolidate principles of integrity, neutrality, accountability combatting illicit enrichment and protecting public money”.
Covering the declaration of assets, it included a list of high-level posts within national institutions and heads of administrations, such as the president, ministers and members of independent constitutional institutions.1
The national anti-corruption authority has published an explanatory list for the posts that are asked to declare their gains by law2. The national anti-corruption authority has also published a list of public sector employees and high-level posts that declared their interests, gains and properties and classified them in types, first type the president, his cabinet director and his advisors ,type two The head of parliament, its members and advisers of the House of Representatives and the list goes on to 29 type mentioned in the national anti-corruption authority’s website.
The implementation of legal texts on the declaration of property was prioritised in the national anti-corruption action plan of 2019-2020, strengthening the legal framework on property and interests declarations for public officials was also prioritised in the national action plan of 2017-2018.
However, this commitment is only partially completed as Law n°46 lacks legislative texts to explain its application, and it needs to be strengthened by other texts to guarantee its efficiency and facilitate and improve its application.
Challenges to effective commitment implementation
There was some progress on this commitment but was not fully implemented due to several factors, the main one being the absence of political will to ensure change and improvement in good governance and measures to counter corruption. Other factors to be considered are: the lack of monitoring and effectiveness of disciplinary and judicial prosecution when it comes to high-level posts; the lack of communication between the various stakeholders, such as INLUCC, civil society and the relevant ministries; the complexity of the administrative procedures as it is difficult to identify and map which administrative procedures are exposed to corruption.
Opportunities to accelerate commitment implementation
This commitment contributes to the national anti-corruption strategy of 2019-2020 it also contributes to the commitment made during the UK anti-corruption summit in 2016, which stated “We commit to establish effective strategies and policies to prevent and fight against corruption”.3
The implementation of the national anti-corruption action plan of 2019-2020 that covered the commitment field will definitely accelerate its implementation.
Coordinate with the assembly of people’s representatives to implement the conventions related to measures to counter corruption, such as the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combatting Corruption.
The national anti-corruption authority, with the support of various stakeholders, should continue international advocacy efforts to seek technical and financial support to accelerate the establishment of laws and guarantee their enforcement.
Establish a mode of recruitment in the public sector that ensures transparency, fairness and efficiency, and which promotes the employment of qualified people through strengthening transparency in recruitment procedures to prevent corruption. This should lead to a fair and merit-based public service system and help in corruption prevention efforts in public sector.
Establish codes of conduct and ethics charters that ensure good public resource use and contribute to guaranteeing the highest level of professionalism and integrity of public officials.
Update the national referencing of jobs and skills by developing a repository for good governance and curbing corruption
- GNet News, Tunisie : Qui sont les personnes concernées par la déclaration de patrimoine ?, https://news.gnet.tn/archives/temps-fort/tunisie-qui-sont-les-personnes-concernees-par-la-declaration-de-patrimoine/id-menu-325.html20 August 2018
- Anti-Corruption Summit: London 2016, Tunisia Statement of Commitments, https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/522734/Tunisia.pdf2016