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The Administrative Control & Transparency Authority reviews its efforts in Anti-Corruption Qatar spares no effort to achieve the highest indicators of integrity and transparency

 

  • The International Day is an important opportunity to raise awareness on the dangers of corruption
  • The slogan “Recover with Integrity” aims to reduce corruption considering the Corona pandemic
  • The state participated in an international conference to promote integrity and transparency policies
  • Organizing several workshops and courses in promoting integrity and anti-corruption
  • Issuing a charter that promotes ethics and values of integrity regarding the public office

 

Doha – Qatar

The Administrative Control and Transparency Authority (ACTA) organized several events on the International Anti-Corruption Day, a date that coincides with the adoption of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) on December 9, 2003 and then its entry into force in 2005.

The celebration of this occasion aims to raise awareness, mobilize efforts and unify the people against corruption, which wastes financial and human energies and constitutes a very serious obstacle to development efforts in many countries of the world. Therefore, in its efforts to fight corruption, ACTA has been interested in holding seminars and meetings in addition to organizing training courses.

Integrity policies

The State of Qatar also participated in the second international conference 2020 “Policies of integrity, transparency and accountability between theory and practice” organized by the Palestinian Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) through visual communication. During the conference, Qatar’s efforts in promoting integrity, transparency and anti-corruption in the public sector were presented.

During the conference, the State of Qatar delegation was headed by H.E. Hamad bin Nasser Al-Misnad, President of ACTA, where he stated that this conference reinforces the principle of international cooperation on which the UNCAC is build on. Also, the conference is an opportunity to familiarize participants from different countries with the international principles and standards related to the policy of integrity, transparency and accountability. It also enhances the benefit from countries’ experiences participating in the conference in the extent of their ability to develop and implement integrity, transparency and accountability policies in accordance with international standards and principles.

The conference was opened by H.E. Chancellor Prof. Ahmad Barak, Commissioner of the PACC, in the presence of the Prime Minister, Dr. Mohammad Shtayyeh, representative of H.E President Mahmoud Abbas and their Excellencies heads of anti-corruption agencies. 

During H.E. President of ACTA speech at the conference’s opening session, he congratulated H.E. Chancellor Prof. Ahmad Barak, Commissioner of the PACC for holding this conference despite the exceptional circumstances considering the spread of the Corona epidemic, which imposed the need for video communication, where he wished for the disappearance of those conditions that befell on the whole world .

H.E. said: “It is with pleasure to be with you on this day, which also coincides with the International Anti-Corruption Day, under its slogan “Recover with Integrity.” He also pointed to his keenness to participate in this conference due to the solid and extended political and fraternal relations that bind the states of Qatar and Palestine and in line with what H.H. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Amir of Qatar, affirms to support the State of Palestine in all possible areas.

International cooperation

H.E. stated that this conference is taking place at a time when the whole world is aware now more than ever, that fighting corruption is a duty that no country can undertake alone and that international cooperation in the fields of preventing corruption and promoting integrity and transparency is imperative.

He emphasized that the State of Qatar spares no efforts towards achieving the highest indicators of integrity and transparency, not only at the national level, but also at the regional and international levels, and perhaps the most prominent of these efforts is the adoption of the Code of Conduct and Integrity of Public Officials Charter, holding relevant training programs and achieving high ranks in the Corruption Perceptions Index and the World Bank’s Global Governance Index.

Furthermore, H.E. pointed out that the State of Qatar has encouraged individual and institutional efforts to enhance integrity and transparency worldwide through the launch of the Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani International Anti-Corruption Excellence Award, which is awarded annually on the International Anti-Corruption Day starting in 2016, in coordination with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). It is awarded to individuals and organizations that actively contribute to anti-corruption, in four areas: Lifetime/Outstanding Achievement, Innovation, Youth Creativity and Engagement and Academic Research and Education. The ceremony honoring the winners is held this year in its fifth edition in the Republic of Tunisia.

H.E. Hamad bin Nasser Al-Misnad, President of ACTA, indicated that His Highness’s announcement that Qatar will hold the first elections to the Shura Council in October 2021, confirms that Qatar is making an important step in strengthening the traditions of the Qatari Shura and developing the legislative process with a wider participation of citizens. H.E also explained that this is the culmination of the comprehensive reform process and the renaissance of the country in all fields and to contribute to spreading a new culture in the country.

The Seminar

On this occasion, ACTA has organized a seminar on the Code of Conduct and Integrity of the Employee between the Public and Private Sector, through visual communication. The symposium reviewed the Code of Conduct and Integrity of Public Officials Charter issued by the Council of Ministers during the current year, the goals of the Charter and its role in anti-corruption and the Code of Judicial Conduct, which was issued by the Supreme Judicial Council. 

In addition, a number of speakers participated in the symposium, where Mr. Majid Abdullah Al-Qahtani, director of the symposium and head of the Cases and Investigations Department at ACTA, opened the seminar with an introduction on the International Anti-Corruption Day, emphasizing on the importance of the UN slogan of the International Anti-Corruption day “Recover with Integrity.” The symposium began by talking about the issuance of the Code of Conduct and Integrity of Public Officials Charter, issued by the Cabinet Resolution No. (18) for the year 2020.

On his part, Dr. Badr Al-Banna spoke about the importance of the International Anti-Corruption Day and the international requirements in the integrity charters and codes of conduct in the public and private sectors, stating: “In order to fight corruption, each state party works, among other things, to promote integrity, honesty and responsibility among its public employees, according to the basic principles of its legal system and each state party endeavor to apply, within the scope of its institutional and legal systems, codes or standards of conduct for the correct, honorable and proper performance of the public office.

Integrity Charter

Furthermore, on her part, Ms. Amal Ahmed Al-Kuwari, Director of the Control and Development Department at ACTA, spoke about the Code of Conduct and Integrity of Public Officials Charter, which was issued through the Cabinet Resolution No. 18 of 2020, where she emphasized that the Code of Conduct and Integrity of Public Officials Charter is a set of rules of professional conduct that applies to civil employees working in ministries, government agencies, public authorities and institutions.

Al-Kuwari said: “The charter aims to promote ethics and values ​​of integrity and transparency in relation to the public office, to promote basic rules and principles of office ethics based on honesty, truth and sincerity, commitment to objectivity and impartiality in making decisions and providing public services to all without discrimination. In addition, to promote justice and equality by providing equal opportunities for employees, to enhance the confidence of service recipients in the work of the agencies that provide them and to introduce members of society to the desired office behavior.”

She added: “The charter includes several principles, the most important of which are: respect for the constitution, regulations, instructions, policies for the public office, where the public interest of the employee is the main motivation for him in his office conduct, the performance of his duties, the optimal use of state property and funds through preventing their waste and misuse and the investment of energies and adequate efforts to achieve outstanding performance.”

She explained that the charter includes 13 chapters that reflect values ​​and principles, and the most important of those chapters are preserving public funds, performing job competencies, conflicts of interest, how to deal with gifts and benefits, how to deal with information that is available to the employee by virtue of his job, how to deal with his superiors, subordinates, the public and recipients of service, how to deal with technology to ensure work confidentiality and how to deal with media and social media.

For his part, H.E. Judge Ali Al Jusaiman spoke about the Judicial Code of Conduct issued by the Supreme Judiciary Council during the meeting of the Global Judicial Integrity Network. Adding that the new Judicial Code of Conduct aims to enhance the independence, integrity, impartiality, and competence of judges and their assistants, the effectiveness of their procedures and their mission to achieve righteousness and establish the rule of law in a way that enhances litigants’ confidence in the judiciary and its role in establishing prompt justice with integrity and impartiality.

He added that the Judicial Code of Conduct keeps pace with global developments in the judges’ work and sets guidelines that will act as a reference for them in all matters related to their duties and specializations, noting that the Judicial Code of Conduct is the first global code of conduct organized with an explicit clause on how judges use social media, stressing that the Supreme Judiciary Council aims to translate the code into 6 international languages ​​and circulate it.

Furthermore, the new Judicial Code of Conduct derives its basic reference principles from the provisions of Islamic law, the permanent constitution of the state, the ethical values ​​of society, the law of the judicial authority, the values ​​and traditions of the Qatari judiciary and relevant international treaties and agreements. The code includes seven chapters and is divided into many articles dealing in its entirety with the issues of judicial independence, the integrity of the judiciary, impartiality and avoiding suspicion, the use of social media sites, dealing with information technology, the judicial work environment and confidentiality.

Mrs. Karen Badr, representative of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), spoke about the best practices of codes of conduct and the most important differences in the private sector from the public, as well as shedding some light on the role played by the OECD in anti-corruption and combating bribery.

Likewise, Mrs. Al-Anoud Al-Langawi, head of the Planning Training Department at the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs, shed light on the efforts made by the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs to train employees on the Code of Conduct and Integrity of the Public Employee Charter and publish it within government institutions and the programs provided by the Institute of Administration in this area and the training plan for the Administration Institute for the next year, which included 10 specialized training programs for charter training.

On his part, Mr. Muhammad Saif Al-Khayarin, Head of Consulting and Governance Department in the Discipline and Follow-up Department of the Qatar National Bank Group, said that the bank had launched the Professional Ethics Document, which is an integral part of the group’s policy.

He stressed that the document aims to preserve customer information from the bank, especially financial, and prevent its leakage from employees, as well as spreading the spirit of teamwork among employees, enhancing trust between them and preserving the bank’s funds, as well as establishing controls dealing with the media and social media and preventing conflicts of interest in banking operations.

While Mrs. Reem Al-Ansari, senior analyst in anti-fraud crimes at Qatar National Bank, touched on the principles of commitment in the ethics document, which obliges and obligates the employee not to divulge confidential information and use the information they acquire in the bank for the intended purpose and not disclose it to any third party. The document also indicates that the employee avoids financial temptations, bribery and acceptance of gifts.

Foe his part, Mr. Walid Al-Mardhi, a specialist and assistant manager in the Corporate Governance Department at Ooredoo Group, said that the group has a code of conduct that includes a set of values and principles that define what is desired in the work environment and is a standard of integrity.

He added that the Ooredoo Code of Conduct includes 7 sections that focus on the policies expected of employees, commitment to employees and regulations, how to deal with customers, avoid gifts and bribes, how to use company resources in a responsible manner, how to deal with confidentiality of information, privacy and work environment, as well as dress codes.

Dissemination of knowledge

Within the framework of the relentless efforts made by ACTA, the authority organized a training course entitled: “Understanding the media work, its principles and ethics” in cooperation with the Al Jazeera Media Institute, through visual communication technology, with the participation of a number of Qatari media professionals and activists in the field of modern media.

The aim of the awareness course was to disseminate knowledge of the concepts of integrity and transparency and to implement ACTA’s mandate, which stipulated the dissemination of knowledge related to the consecration of integrity and transparency, facilitating individual access to it and proposing measures that contribute to the definition of the phenomenon of corruption, its effects and the risks of its spread.

The course also aims to consolidate and strengthen the principles of values, ethics and integrity in media work, in addition to getting to know media work, its theories and foundations, promoting the application of integrity and transparency within media work, shedding light on the laws that govern work, ensuring freedom of opinion in a way that does not harm the freedoms and privacy of others, strengthening professional principles and Ethical charters that regulate the work of media professionals and some of the international indicators that deal with press freedom.

The course presented by trainer Mahmoud Abdulhadi targeted media professionals in general with their different experiences and fields, whether they were writers, broadcasters, artists or social media influencers.