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The Corruption in the Middle East

The International non-governmental organization to combat corruption and to study the issue of corruption in the world, “Transparency International”, has published a report the main motive of which is the role of the Arabian uprisings in the context of measures to combat corruption and bribery in the Middle East, reports “IA UMMA” referring to the Arabic edition “Arabian Business”.

Iraq still is the country with one of the highest corruption rates globally even after the invasion of the US troops freed the country of its former dictator, Saddam Hussein.
Another country, Iran, managed to make some rank gains, moving from 168st position in last year to 146st this year.  However, the country is also regarded as one of the most corrupt nations in the Middle East, together with Lybia and Yemen. (“Voice of America”, n.d) On the other hand, Qatar (19), the United Arab Emirates (28), Israel (30) and Oman (41) are categorized as the countries with the lowest rank of corruption in the Middle East.

Transparency International has named insecurity, the absence of transparency, and rich oil reserves among the causes of the fuel corruption in many parts of the given region. As for the group ranking of the countries on a scale from one to 10, with one country being the most corrupted,  Iraq was found to be the most corrupted, with the score of 1.5, while Qatar was named the least corrupted country, showing the score of 7.7. The level of corruption in Egypt in 2011, according to the organization, was positioned at 112th place among 176 countries. This year, the country has fallen by 6 positions and is located at 118th positions. “Transparency International” has increased the level of corruption, abuse of power, and the disclosure of trade secrets in Egypt, which is the Arabian country by population. Among other Arabian countries, Tunisia dropped two places to 75th, and Morocco fell in the rankings by 8 points and is located at 88th position. Syria, suffering from internal conflicts, taking 144th place, lost 8 points, and Libya has taken its new location – 168th position.

As for Dubai and UAE, the research of International Transparency Organization (ITO) showed that the 2004 study found the level of corruption in the UAE to be the lowest in the Muslim world. Overall 29th place (37th in 2003), of United Emirates is quite a good result, especially when considering that the U.S. has taken on the blacklist 17th place.

 At the recent debates on corruption in the country, Dubai has the highest corruption rate in the Emirates, as the construction sector is in other matters other states. The chairman of the Association contractors of UAE, doctor Belhaza, believes that corruption in the country owes to the lack of anti-corruption legislation with which one can deal with this phenomenon, both in the public and private sector. In addition, in the UAE, there is no government agency managing the sector of construction, as well as there is no system of accountability to companies or individual officials.

The member of TV debates - UAE University Professor Dr. Jack - says that the real rate of corruption in the UAE is much higher than it was reported in the studies by ITO. When examining the data that were taken from one of the emirates, the research did not completely cover the other emirates where corruption is flourishing. Dr. Jack also said that in many cases, talking about Atig, corrupt chief ministers in the country are the audits that revealed facts appropriation of funds in the ministries, and the public demanded punishment for those who were responsible. Many participants agreed with the TV debates’ opinion expressing the idea that the level of corruption marked by ITO in the country was reached only due to acting of strict rules and regulations in Dubai.

 Noting that the Constitution of the United Arab Emirates (Article 62) and the Civil Service Law (Article 64) prohibits civil servants to engage in private business, some of the participants welcomed the initiative of televised debates Minister of Labour and Social Security Dr. Kaabi who declared the fight against corruption within their ministries and urged other ministers to follow the example of Dr. Kaabi.

Individual participants in the debate focused on the fact that during the first few years of existence, the Government reconciled itself to the fact that officials did business and violated the law. To the present stage of development, society should strongly identify, and stop this phenomenon. Others, speaking on the steps that were taken by the Minister of Labour, stated that these measures are expressed only in the minister of its employees to re-register one’s business to their family members.

The following is a bright example of corruption in UAE, which happened in 2010.

According to Dr. Harib Saeed Al Amimi, the president of SAI, Institute for the trial began to act, the aim of which is to return the misappropriated funds. For the past two years, state prosecutors were informed of the ten cases of corruption and bribery in the hundreds of millions of dirhams. ”Together with the Cabinet of Ministers of the United Arab Emirates, SAI staff began the process the return of misappropriated funds, which we will return to the state treasury,” - said Dr. Al Amimi. – “In addition, the Institute launched a special “hotline” on the website, using which the general public could report that it is aware of fraud and corruption within the government.”

 This action is implemented in accordance with the Government's intention to raise the standards of accountability and transparency at the federal level.

 The use of the service “Report Fraud” is available on the website of SAI (www.saiuae.gov.ae), for the employees of the federal government and service providers. Its main aim is to improve governance and increase confidence in the federal organizations.

 SAI staff investigates cases that are related to violations of the law that occurred only in the federal agencies and institutions. (“The Economist”, n.d.)

 According to the annual report of the Berlin monitoring organization that assesses perceptions of public sector corruption among businessmen and experts Transparency International, in 2011, out of the 183 countries that were assessed by Corruption Perception Index, the UAE was in 28th place and received the assessment of 6.8 points out of possible 10. It is worth noting that the U.S. was located at 24th place. Qatar received the highest rating among the countries of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf - 7.7 points and 22nd place.

 The group of five least corrupted countries in the world includes New Zealand, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and Singapore, while the top five most corrupted - North Korea, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Somalia.

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