Fighting Corruption

Study Assesses the Attorney General’s Office’s Vulnerability to Corruption
Today, the Independent Joint Anti-Corruption Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (MEC) released its Vulnerability to Corruption Assessment (VCA) on the Attorney General´s Office (AGO). The study identifies vulnerabilities that made corruption possible which affect the AGO’s task to prosecute properly. Supporting the AGO in fighting corruption, enhancing its openness to scrutiny, increasing transparency and promoting additional monitoring mechanisms – all these activities shall help rebuilding confidence in the AGO. The German funded programme Open Policy Advisory Fund (OPAF) supported MEC in conducting the study.

During the press conference, MEC’s chairperson, Mr Mark Pyman, emphasised: “Assessing the AGO’s vulnerability to corruption will support the AGO in fighting corruption within the organisation. We consider this study a milestone for rebuilding confidence in the AGO.”

The Attorney General Mr Farid Hamidi has begun successfully implementing substantial changes such increasing the budget and salary of prosecutors, setting up public complaint boxes, enhancing the monitoring of prosecutors performance in the provinces and controlling staff attendance in order to address past deficiencies. Despite recent progress MEC has recognised, MEC has identified a number of recommendations to further reform the AGO, reducing corruption and increasing organisational effectiveness.

Findings indicate that current case management practices make it difficult to track cases. Criminal statistics raise concern about backlogs, case tracking and underreporting. These can potentially facilitate corruption. Court procedures do not ensure a fair hearing and can be manipulated to extract bribes. According to the report, bribery and interference are the main forms of corruption within the AGO. Furthermore, there is no accurate mechanism in place to monitor prosecutor activities. The AGO’s organisational structure is outdated and needs to be streamlined. 

In order to realise change and fight corruption effectively, the assessment study provides clear guidelines to the AGO. These guidelines outline how to fight corruption within the AGO and therefore within the Afghan justice system. In a next step, MEC will support the AGO to implement these recommendations. After this initial assessment, MEC will conduct follow-up studies and check upon the progress of implementing MEC’s recommendations.

The Independent Joint Anti-Corruption Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (MEC) independently monitors and evaluates national and international efforts to fight corruption in Afghanistan. It reports to the public, parliament, president, and international community.

On behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the project “Open Policy Advisory Fund” (OPAF) has been working together with the Independent Joint Anti-Corruption Monitoring and Evaluation Committee MEC since 2014, in order to promote the fight against corruption in Afghanistan. As part of the Afghan-German Cooperation, OPAF supports Afghan institutions in becoming more effective and transparent.