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KRG in need of an overhaul.

Summary: "We are in a vital phase of our history"-Niyaz Salih Barzani

For a better future, Kurds deserve "a better and more efficient governance system." "Corruption is one of the most damaging consequences of poor governance. It undermines investment and economic growth, decreases the resources available for human development goals, deepens the extent of poverty, subverts the judicial system, and undermines the legitimacy of the state. In fact, when corruption becomes entrenched, it can devastate the entire economic, political, and social fabric of a country?corruption breeds corruption-and a failure to combat it effectively can lead to an era of entrenched corruption."--Nik Posnah Wan Abdullah, "Eradicating Corruption: The Malaysian Experience"Once, it was our dream to establish a Kurdish government in the Kurdistan Region. I am really proud of being ruled by a government that is composed of Kurdish people. It has been 18 years since we ousted the Baath Regime in the Kurdistan Region, and we are the sole ruler of our land. Since 1992, the establishment of the Kurdistan National Assembly and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has been one of the greatest achievements of the Kurds. But it does not mean that we have accomplished all that we have struggled for. It is unquestionable that corruption and nepotism in the KRG are endemic and deeply rooted. That is why we should move on to the next stage, a courageous fight against corruption and nepotism inside the KRG. Professor Gerald E. Caiden at the University of Southern California noted an important distinction on whether corruption is a fact of life or a way of life. "In a country where cases of corruption are exception rather than rule, then corruption is a fact of life. In a country where corruption is rampant and becomes the norm rather than the exception, then corruption is a way of life." Unfortunately, corruption in Kurdistan is the latter. According to Professor Leslie H. Palmier at the University of Wellington, three main factors are identified as principle causes of corruption: opportunities, salaries, and policing. He hypothesized that corruption depends upon a balance between the three causes or a continuum where, at one end, "with few opportunities, good salaries, and effective policing, corruption will be minimal; at the other, with many opportunities, poor salaries, and weak policing, it will be considerable." Again, regrettably, with many opportunities, poor salaries, and weak policing, the second situation widely prevails in the KRG. The current aspects of corruption and nepotism in the KRG could be summarized in four points. First, the lack of transparency in the KRG's policy, especially on the budget, is severe. Transparency in the budget spending cannot be achieved by just reporting the overall amount of the budget to Parliament for ratification. More importantly is declaring the full detail of the budget spending. Second, Kurdish high-ranking officials are broadly and deeply involved in the business activities of the region. There is no fair policy or procedure in public procurement service, while small groups of the government officials who own companies in private sectors secure the lion's share of the tenders. Third, nepotism and cronyism are the preferable conditions for someone to get not only a high-ranking position but even a fair position inside the KRG. Lots of capable and experienced people are out of the KRG, just because they have no relationship with the incumbent senior public servants. Last but not least, ordinary people are reluctant to visit the KRG offices, mostly because of the KRG employee's attitude toward them. The majority of the employees in the KRG do not treat people responsibly, fairly, and properly. To add insult to injury, some of the KRG offices are rife with bribery, so the best way to get a civil request accepted is seemingly by bribing public servants. It is the KRG duty to exhort its employees for having better treatment with citizens.It is notable to shed some light on the stance of the KRG on corruption and nepotism. The current Prime Minister of Kurdistan Region has repeatedly accentuated and admitted the existence of corruption and nepotism prevalent in the KRG. Although they have consistently vowed to eradicate it, quiet shockingly there have not been any concerted efforts to challenge and prosecute the corrupt officials. As a method of analyzing a new cabinet, scrutinizing the first hundred days was paramount. Applying this doctrine to the KRG, except for promising the earth in regard to eliminating the corruption, no concrete action was taken during the first hundred days. KRG officials have to bear in mind that We are in a vital phase of our history. The better the KRG, the more enhanced our political and economical situation both in the region and abroad. Therefore, we all must work for a more efficient government. I would like to conclude this article by a quote from Victor Hugo:

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Publication:The Kurdish Globe (Erbil, Iraq)
Date:Apr 10, 2010
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