Egyptian high-profile delegation meets FBI officials in New York – press photo Egyptian high-profile delegation meets FBI officials in New York – press photo

Egypt’s ACA, FBI discuss cooperation over anti-corruption

Tue, May. 15, 2018
CAIRO – 15 May 2018: An Egyptian high-profile delegation led by the head of the Administrative Control Authority (ACA) Mohamed Erfan, met on Monday with Christopher Wray, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), at the end of a three-day visit to New York.

The two sides discussed the intensification of cooperation between the FBI National Academy Associates and the ACA, which represents Egypt in the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), providing technical support to the newly launched academy for governance, combating corruption and administrative reform in Egypt.

Erfan stressed that the ACA adopts a scientific mechanisms to limit corruption and maximize the role of mechanization in the state procedures. He noted that Egypt has made significant progress in implementing its domestic economic reform plan with all its bold and ambitious measures, with a package of community protection programs for the needy citizens.

Both sides discussed the role of the new anti-corruption academy to support policy-making and applied researches, with giving a special focus to eliminating corruption and violence, developing a plan for combating and preventing poverty, supporting ACA’s efforts aiming to enhance transparency and accountability in the main vulnerable sectors such as education and health.

In addition, the academy works on facilitating the integration of ACA in regional and global anti-corruption networks, based on international standards and best practices, besides launching another outreach campaign that pinpoints the dangers of corruption and its adverse impact on economy as well as building capacities of ACA staff, especially with regard to the preventive measures.

The Egyptian delegation included the minister of investment and international cooperation, Sahar Nasr, the attorney general, Nabil Sadeq, the head of the Central Audit Organization (CAO), Hesham Badawy, the head of the Money Laundering Combating Unit (MLCU), Ahmed Khalil, and Egypt's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Mohamed Idris.
Bribery and corruption have been rife in Egypt for long decades and was one of the main causes of the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime president Hosni Mubarak.

President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi always asserted on applying strict measures within the government institutions to crack down any violation. He hailed the role played by the ACA in different occasions.

Egypt ranked 117th out of 180 countries on Transparency International’s 2017 Corruption Perception Index, scoring 32 points, down two points compared to 2016. A score of zero is highly corrupt while 100 is very clean.

Transparency International, the leading civil society organization fighting corruption worldwide, released its annual Corruption Perceptions Index in February.

A couple weeks before this report, the ACA – the regulatory body responsible for enforcing laws and regulations within state bodies – detained the governor of Monufia Hesham Abdel Baset and two businessmen in Sadat City over charges of corruption.

Security sources said the governor was under the ACA surveillance for a while, and the authority managed to record phone calls by Abdel Baset proving that he agreed to take LE 2m as a bribe in return for land licenses.

The sources pointed out that the ACA detected a number of corruption cases involving the arrested governor. The ACA referred the governor to the public prosecution for investigation.

The ACA’s efforts were very fruitful in the last years and prosecuted several high-profile cases which led to a noticeable decline in corruption incidents.

In April 2016, the Cairo Criminal Court sent former agriculture minister, Salah El Din Mahmoud Helal, and his office manager to 10 years in prison each on corruption charges.

The prosecution said in a court session that Helal and his office manager had accepted bribes including a luxury home, membership of an exclusive sports club, clothing from high-end fashion stores, and mobile phones.

In January 2017, former Secretary-General of Egypt's State Council Wael Shalaby committed suicide while in custody after his arrest for alleged corruption.

This incident came days after a procurement manager at the State Council, Gamal Al-Laban, was arrested and charged with receiving bribes worth millions of Egyptian pounds.
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