Financial transparency promised by Palestinian Authority
The Palestinian Ministry of Finance has released details of a major financial reform effort, including the legal foundation, assets, and operating guidelines and regulations for the Palestine Investment Fund (PIF).
Announced at the recently held World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, the fund is designed to ensure that all commercial assets and investments owned by the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) will be disclosed, managed, and supervised in a manner consistent with international standards of transparency, accountability, and good governance.
The names of the seven Board of Directors, a majority of who must be from the private sector, along with the Fund's Articles of Association and Operating Manual were also made public. Prominent international consultants have been retained to provide guidance and oversight.
Rating agency Standard & Poor's and the Democracy Council of the USA have been retained to provide strategic advice and conduct valuation and transparency diagnostics on all the assets. The fund has stated its commitment to making the consultants' findings and a list of all the assets available to the public by February 22, 2003.
The Articles of Association and Policies & Procedures Manual were drafted by international consultants in order to ensure compliance with the necessary standards. The Palestinian National Authority through Presidential and Ministerial decrees then approved the documents and accompanying regulations. The international consultants will also be providing training and advice on an on-going basis.
"The fund's structure was designed with a view to promoting private sector confidence in the prospects of the Palestinian Economy. Empowering an independent Board of Directors shows our commitment to create a free market and competitive environment led by the private sector," said Managing Director of the Fund, Mohamed Rachid.
"The Articles and operating Manual represent a system of oversight, and checks and balances that encourage the PA and its agents to undertake commercial activities in a transparent and responsible manner. The system provides, for the first time, for a full accounting, of all commercial assets owned by the PA," said president of the Democracy Council, Jim Prince. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)