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‘Lack of anti-corruption laws led to decline in transparency index’

Need to criminalize bribery: Nazaha

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 23, (KUNA): Kuwait Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha) said on Thursday that decline of Kuwait’s ranking in the International Transparency Corruption Perception Index was due to several reasons, namely delay of enacting relevant legislations.

Nazaha issued a press release in this regard after the Berlin-based international agency publicized its annual report. The Kuwaiti authority said one of the main reasons of Kuwait’s record at this level was delay of issuing legislations that could have served Kuwait’s stance regarding the corruption perception index, most notably a law on conflicting interests, in addition to a law of the right to know, regulating information gathering, a legislation for regulating appointment of leaders and another on organizing electoral campaigns.

It added, citing recommendations by International Transparency, “There have been circulated reports about many corruption cases thus undermining confidence between the society and the State, creating an impression about non-enforcement of the law for executing verdicts against corruption and reclaiming (misappropriated) funds.” Nazaha called for speedy enactment of the legislations, namely the penal code to render bribing civil servants a penal crime, in addition to criminalizing bribes in the private sector, expanding scope of responsibility to cover independent entities (persons and institutions) in tandem with international treaties and accords on revamping precautions against corruption.

In 2019, Kuwait posted improvement in several indices with respect of the corruption perception, such as the index of easy business, in addition to the improving its status in the global competition index. It called for continuing efforts for sustainable development to maintain the achievements, through cooperation with all stakeholders for implementing the strategy for boosting integrity and combatting corruption.

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