(MENAFN - Arab Times) Marwa Al-Fatafta
KUWAIT CITY, Dec 23: The Transparency International said corruption in Kuwait is a major challenge, especially in the public sector, pointing out the government of Kuwait has taken several positive steps towards greater transparency to reduce corruption, reports Al-Rai daily.
The organization welcomed steps taken by the government recently in the so-called Airbus scandal. Commenting on the issued, the sources said the organization has praised the government announcement that the issue of the Caracal helicopter deal will be referred to the Audit Bureau and the Anti- Corruption Authority for investigation.
'The Audit Bureau and the Anti-Corruption Authority have a critical oversight role to protect public funds, prevent and investigate corruption and abuses, and promote transparency and overall integrity,' said Marwa Fatafta, the Middle East coordinator of the organization. 'The Audit Bureau has the mandate to investigate public spending, including the purchased of the Airbus, and the most important thing here is to ensure that these regulatory bodies can function fully and in a transparent manner,' she said.
Fatafta praised Kuwait's establishment of the Anti Corruption Authority to investigate corruption cases and violations. She stressed, Kuwait still has a lot to do, such as the adoption of major anti-corruption laws, including the law on access to information and the law of conflict of interest. 'The freedom of civil society in Kuwait has been reduced, and subsequently reduced national efforts to combat corruption,' she said.
'Kuwait, as a signatory to international anti-corruption conventions, should protect and strengthen the participation of civil society organizations in the fight against corruption', she added. Fatafta said she is confi dent the Anti Corruption Authority will play its role, especially in relation to the completion of the national strategy to combat corruption.