In September 2017, the government of Afghanistan unveiled the much-awaited strategy on anti-corruption it promised to the international community in Brussels Conference on Afghanistan in May 2016. The strategy sets five pillars of priorities that include:
1) political leadership in fighting corruption.
2) tackling corruption in in defense and security sector
3) reform in civil services to replace patronage with merit;
4) prosecute the corrupt; and
5) transparency funding flows that is traceable and subject to audit.
The strategy emphasizes on enacting of comprehensive anti-corruption law with international standards, asset disclosure of senior government officials and strengthen the High Council on Rule of Law and Justice till 2019. As a second area of priority, the strategy focuses on reforms and fighting corruption in the security sector with a focus on Ministry of Interior. In two years from now, the security anti-corruption strategy aims to ensure a transparent budgetary and planning process in defense-related issues, establishing a clear appointment procedure, involving civil society in dialogue and to identify ghost soldiers.
In the same period of 2017-19 according to this strategy, some 5000 non-performing civil servants will be sacked or given education option. Also, the recruitment for all common ministries will be centralized and based on competition and merits. Furthermore, to effectively prosecute the corrupts, the government will establish a judicial commission the oversee the appointments of judges. The other significant move is to consolidate all anti-corruption agencies under AGO and create a new Deputy Attorney General. This strategy sets a number of benchmarks in extractives sector to be achieved. This includes EITI validation, public register of beneficial ownership till June 2018, publication of contracts, creating of an independent hydro-corban agency “Afghanistan Oil and Gas Regulatory Agency” to look after the reservoirs.
The strategy also addresses corruption in the private sector and envision to simplify the business process to reduce corruption opportunities in exchange for granting licenses. The government will also take measures to reduce opportunities for corruption and increase the cost of graft. To restore the trust of citizens there are three courses of action this strategy proposes. To tackle corruption in justice sector with citizens have access to courts, second, access to citizens to public service delivery that is transparent and simplified, third, free independent media and vibrant civil society will provide an oversight mechanism, that is monitoring the anti-corruption efforts. “I paid a bribe” public monitoring website is already online: www.efshagar.af