Consensus achieved on a draft anti-corruption bill in Niger with UNODC support
Anti-corruption officials in Niger achieved consensus on proposals related to draft anti-corruption legislation that is poised to be adopted by the Council of Ministers and the National Assembly in 2015. The participants' proposals strengthen the draft law and align it with the requirements of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).
This result was achieved at a workshop organized by the High Authority for the Fight against Corruption and Assimilated Offences (HALCIA) and UNODC held in Niamey, Niger, from 15 to 17 December 2014. It was attended by representatives of HALCIA, the Ministry of Justice, the Parliamentary Network for the fight against corruption, supervisory bodies and civil society in Niger.
The workshop further aimed at familiarizing participants with the UNCAC and the Jakarta Principles for Anti-Corruption Agencies, analyzing the current gaps in the legal framework for the fight against corruption.
Currently, HALCIA is established by a Presidential decree. "This legal basis is very weak; it does not ensure the survival of HALCIA over the long term; a law establishing HALCIA could strengthen its status and improve its powers," stressed the UNODC Regional Anti-Corruption Advisor, Mr. Samuel De Jaegere, at the opening of the workshop.
From left to right, a UNODC representative, the President of HALCIA, and the representative of the Ministry of Justice
Furthermore, the representative of the Ministry of Justice, Mr. Abdou Hamani, argued that the establishment of HALCIA aims ultimately at "creating favourable conditions for economic and social development in Niger through the search for effectiveness of public spending, and the restoration of the fiscal monopoly of the state, heavily eroded by fraud of all kinds."
The President of HALCIA, Mr. Boureima Issoufou, has for his part recalled that a bill exists, but it never obtained a consensus from stakeholders. To improve the content of the project, participants discussed over two days about the current bill, so as to strengthen and align it with the requirements of the UNCAC, taking into account each other's concerns. At the end of this process, the new bill was unanimously adopted by representatives and experts from the various institutions.
Stakeholders at the workshop pledged to support the bill through advocacy with all concerned actors, including the population of Niger, for its adoption by the Council of Ministers and the National Assembly in 2015. The draft is available here. This activity was funded by Norway.