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January 01, 1997 | Fadi Moughaizel
Consolidating the Values of Integrity and Transparency in the Civil Service through Legislation

The purpose of the working paper is to examine the legal framework of anti-corruption and transparency measures in Lebanon. It is not intended to be a comprehensive repertoire of legislative and regulatory texts in relation thereto, but rather an outline of the major deficiencies in the present legislation and ways to improve the existing legal framework, taking into consideration relevant foreign legal systems and experiences.
While the study recognizes that the main obstacle for the adequate and efficient implementation of anti-corruption and transparency laws is the absence of a determined Governmental policy and the lack of proper means to implement it, it remains that the Government must have appropriate tools for the implementation of any such policy, notably a comprehensive, modern and efficient legal and regulatory framework, in addition to active and appropriate controlling bodies. This working paper does not focus on controlling bodies as such since they come within the scope of another working paper in the context of this Seminar.
Briefly, it is noticed that the main deficiency in the present legislation is that most of the present laws or decree-laws date back to the fifties and sixties and are scattered in disparate texts. A number of them were inspired by foreign laws, mainly French law, and consequently, fragments of legal or regulatory texts were often selected and removed from their context without adequate adaptation to the Lebanese reality. As a result, such texts were either improperly applied or simply inapplicable. We also note the absence of any comprehensive official compendium of anti-corruption laws and regulations, which would be used by civil servants as a mandatory reference in the performance of their duties.
The working paper consists of three sections:
Part one includes a description of the major legal or regulatory texts aiming at preventing or sanctioning corruptive practices and at securing transparency. In this section, a number of deficiencies observed in the law are outlined.
Part two considers certain foreign laws and institutions, mainly French, since French law is the major source of Lebanese administrative law and therefore remains the most appropriate source for any consistent development of Lebanese legislation with, obviously, appropriate adaptations to Lebanon's specific requirements and circumstances. The major pieces of legislation reviewed include anti-corruption and transparency laws, access to information laws, civil service laws and public procurement laws, in addition to the United States Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Part three contains recommendations, mainly the drafting of a new law on corruption along the lines of the United Nations Model Law on Corruption. In addition, other recommendations are put forward, such as establishing a comprehensive official compendium of laws and regulations and the simplification of administrative formalities.

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