An Independent Anti-Corruption Commission? A proof test of government’s will to fight corruption

Sayed Ikram Afzali, Executive Director | @SIAfzali

President Ghani committed to establishing an independent anti-corruption commission almost five years ago during the London Conference on Afghanistan in 2014 – a promise he has backtracked on since then. The establishment of an independent anti-corruption commission has become a proof test of the government’s will to fight corruption since then.

After four years of advocacy by civil society and the international community, in 2018 the government finally agreed to pass the anti-corruption law to establish an independent commission. However, what was published as the proposed law in the Official Gazette was completely different from what civil society and international actors were expecting. Invisible hands within the palace completely removed civil society and independent institutions from the selection process of the Commissioners. After months of advocacy, the government finally agreed to review and change the selection process to make it more transparent through civil society participation.

However, in a recent legislative decree, the government has ruled that five government institutions and civil society introduce 25 candidates each. From this list of candidates the Civil Service Commission, which itself is not an independent institution, has been tasked to short-list 15 candidates and introduce them to the President for final selection. It is obvious that the government has again tried to limit civil society role in the selection process. If this selection process is not changed, it will lead to another non-independent institution which would, yet again, be a waste of time and resources.

Therefore, civil society organizations which are active in the fight against corruption strongly believe that the following key points are necessary for the selection of independent members of the Commission:
Continue reading the recommendations…