In 19% of cases, civil servants caught accepting bribes were left uninvestigated, with another 41 % of investigations opened but not concluded, according to a World Bank statement issued Friday.
The statement added that Egypt’s problem in fighting corruption is not the lack of regulations needed to crack down on corruption but that the country failed to enforce them, leaving civil servants rarely punished.
Corruption has a negative impact on development, creating obstacles to growth and causing particular harm to the poorest, the statement mentioned.
The World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index of 2014 indicated a shift in public concern, however, from public corruption to the lack of constraints on government powers, the statement added.
Research by Egyptian institutes and the World Bank in 2009 illustrated the public’s complicity. The vast majority of Egyptians believed that paying a bribe or even a tip for services rendered, virtually guaranteed the delivery of a public service or resolved a problem they had with the government, particularly in urban areas.
Senior World Bank Public Sector Specialist in Cairo, Edouard Al-Dahdah revealed the huge size of the Egyptian civil service at approximately 7.2m employees. Too many government rules create too much wiggle room for discretion, with the WJP adding that Egyptian citizens and businesses find it difficult to access public services without paying bribes.
“From an economic development perspective, though, corruption halts growth. Good governance and anti-corruption are keys to the World Bank’s goals of reducing the amount of poverty in the world,” said Al-Dahdah.
He added that the World Bank focuses on internal organisational integrity, minimising corruption on projects it funds, and assisting countries in improving governance and controlling corruption.
“Egypt’s recently announced national strategy will be run by the National Coordination Committee for Combating Corruption,” added Al-Dahdah, “The committee is composed of members drawn from a range of government agencies, and will be chaired by the Prime Minister [Ibrahim Mehleb].”
Egypt announced this new official strategy to fight corruption on the occasion of International Anti-Corruption Day on 9 December.
By Shaimaa Elise
© 2021 Daily News Egypt.