Egypt Independent

Corruption is a system



I did not understand at any phase in the evolution of our political systems how fighting corruption is partial or dependent on political whims and satisfaction. The government has always kept a “Corruption Case” for every official, and it’s not made public until the government is mad at him, and if he was pleasing to them then he is safe and immune against any prosecution.

The fact is that corruption in Egypt, like many countries, is an integrated system, benefiting those who pay bribes and those who receive it, and millions of people live on it. It is true that stronger parties and institutions benefit from corruption more than the weak counterparts, and it is always a sign that you live in a chagrined country that is unable to progress, because it distinguishes between individuals according to their rank and social status, and between institutions whether they are immune or humble.

It is true that the fight against corruption in ruling institutions and powerful figures with connections is not an easy job, and must be done gradually and needs political wisdom and will. It is possible for any country to succeed in fighting corruption sincerely, not with just slogans.

The situation has changed with the Administrative Control Authority (ACA) entering the arena of monitoring corruption in civil institutions only, with exception to police which is excluded from any control or accountability. ACA succeeded in striking strong cases of corruption in many civil institutions.

The question that arises in this case is compounded: Is the area given to ACA in the fight against corrupt people due to the fact that it is led by a general and most of its members are of military and intelligence background, and that the broad support it got from the government was reversed with another civil institution, which is the Central Auditing Organization (CAO), headed by Hesham Genina, which has published a more daring and professional report than the rest of control bodies, and spoke clearly about corruption system and did not distinguish between immune and humble institutions?

It is known that the report of CAO affected sovereign institutions, especially the Interior Ministry, which is still a closed black box that is not allowed by be approached by any control or observatory bodies, and thus is a departure from the red lines that have been custom and not the law not to be exposed to it. CAO has thus crossed a traditional red line, that wasn’t set by law.

The current efforts for fighting corruption is centered on prosecuting corrupt officials in differed civil institutions, like what happened recently in Health Ministry and Alexandria governorate, when officials of ACA arrested employees suspected of receiving bribes and squandering millions of pounds, and earlier dozens of employees were arrested, among them the agriculture minister on different corruption charges.

The real challenge is devising a legal integrated system for fighting corruption, and this of course is a case this is beyond the role of ACA and reaches to the role of the society (which is absent) and the rest of the state’s civil institution (which is absent as well). The institutions that counter corruption shouldn’t be excluded from any system for accountability and transparency. Those institutions must rush, on their own, to report any independent investigations.

Corruption is a system like terrorism, and in both cases we fight corrupt people and terrorists but we don’t fight the system which produced the corruption or terrorism.