The President of Tunisia's National Authority for the Fight Against Corruption, Chawki Tabib published a list recommending the ten urgent actions the government must take to fight against corruption.
Since taking office Tabib has called for the development of medium and long-term strategies to combat corruption and warned that Tunisia "risked becoming a mafia state if corruption was not tackled"
The ten proposed measures, released on Saturday, June 11, are:
- To declare war and general mobilization against this scourge;
- Call to hold a national congress around the national strategy against corruption;
- Establish a media awareness campaign across various platforms with the cooperation of civil society;
- Conduct an investigation to verify the reports of the supervisory and inspection bodies as well as the Court of Auditors over the last three years, in order to initiate prosecutions of corruption cases that have been reported and ignored by the administration;
- The generalization of the computerization of public transactions and tenders and the prosecution of all those who seek to subvert this system;
- The urgent financial support of the judicial pole, administrative tribunal, supervisory bodies, Court of Auditors and the instance of the fight against corruption;
- The immediate implementation of OpenGov and e-government, to limit interactions between citizens and administration bureaucrats and for more transparency;
- Expedite review of certain laws, especially those relating to the protection of whistleblowers, the constitutional court, declarations of illegal property and wealth and the legal framework of the judicial and financial poles;
- The Minister of Justice must give instructions to the public prosecutor so that cases relating to corruption are given priority;
- Review of assignments, appointments and recruitment in the public service suspected of having any connection with corruption or favoritism.
Chawki Tabib was appointed President of the National Authority for the Fight Against Corruption in January 2016 by Prime Minister Habib Essid. A lawyer, Tabib, chaired the Tunisian League for Citizenship and served as President of the Tunisian Bar Association from 2012-13 was once President of the Tunisian Association of Young Lawyers.
Shortly after the employment protests which rocked Tunisia in January, Tabib told a session of the Administrative Reform Commission at the Assembly of the Representatives of the People (ARP) in early February that “The country is today facing the same early signs of the January 2011 Revolution, bearing in mind that the Revolution broke out in reaction to the proliferation of corruption.”
Despite the announcement in February that the offices of the National Anti-Corruption Authority and Tabib would receive security protection from Tunisia’s Presidential Guard, Tabib in testimony given in May to the ARP's commission for administrative reform, good governance and the fight against corruption reported having his home and car vandalized.
Tabib has also had to root out corruption in setting up the National Authority for the Fight against Corruption, an employee responsible for the procurement of the Authority’s computers reportedly asked the supplier for a 10% commission before Tabib was alerted and fired the employee and filed a complaint with the Attorney General.
According to Transparency’s International’s 'People and Corruption: Middle East and North Africa Survey 2016' Report, which spoke to 10,797 adult respondents from September 2014 to November 2015 and was released in May: 23% of Tunisians thought ‘most of the public sector was corrupt’ against 46% who only thought some of it was and 15% who believed it was clean.
64 % of Tunisians said corruption has increased a lot or somewhat over the past 12 months.
62 % of Tunisians thought the government was doing ‘badly’ in its efforts to fight corruption.
On Transparency's 2015 Corruption Perceptions Index, released early in 2016, Tunisia ranked 76th out of 168 countries.