Iraq’s interim government sets up anti-corruption watchdog

Published January 20th, 2004 - 02:00 GMT

In a bid to boost confidence among international investors, Iraq’s interim administration has agreed to establish an anti-corruption watchdog by the end of the month.  


"There is going to be a public office of integrity to fight financial and administrative corruption," Governing Council member Mouwaffak Al-Rubaie, told AP. Among the office’s first challenges is to rid government ministries of cronyism, he said.  


According to Iraqi and US businessmen, the influence of nepotism on Iraqi reconstruction ventures is discouraging foreign companies from pursuing deals in the Arab state. Businessmen with close ties to US-endorsed Iraqi leaders have won large contracts in support of the rebuilding effort.  


Iraqi National Congress (INC) Chair Ahmad Chalabi’s business associate and personal acquaintance Ahud Farouki was offered a large stake in an $80 million oil security deal when a consortium that included one of his companies was chosen for the job.  


Prominent INC official Mudar Shawkat was also a beneficiary of preferential treatment when his son’s company Nijla Telecommunications, a partially family-owned business, won a contract through a consortium to provide mobile phone services for southern Iraq. — ( 


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