Monday, October 4, 2010

Ethiopia to register wealth of 22,000 government Officials

Monday 4 October 2010 -- By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

As part of the nationwide efforts to curb corruption the Ethiopian Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (FEACC) said on Sunday that it is set to register assets and wealth of 22,000 government appointees as of next month.

This will be the first time for the Horn of Africa’s nation to register wealth of government officials including ministers. Ethiopian Parliament on March 30, 2010 endorsed the wealth registration proclamation which has been the pipeline for several years.

The target includes registering a total of 45,000 people including the wealth of families of government officials, and other key civil servants who are in positions of making decision on resources of the country. According to the commission, the registration of properties and wealth is not a onetime work and it will be continued every two years.

Speaking at a recent discussion forum, the Commission’s Ethics Education and Communication Affairs Director, Birhanu Assefa, noted that the commission has been working with a foreign consultant firm to launch the process of registration and final preparations are well in progress.

The registration process includes verification of the wealth of individuals, and subjects are also expected to notify income source of their families during the registration.

Individuals who tip to the commission about the hidden wealth of government officials, employees and constituencies, the tipsters will be rewarded 25 percent value of the hidden and found property if the tips are found to be true, according to the proclamation.

Cognizant of the dangerous threat of corruption, the Ethiopian Government established the Federal Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (FEACC) in May 2001. According to the commission’s website (www.feac.gov.et), since its establishment, the FEACC has been taking preventive and curative measures to curb corruption at various levels.

As a continuation of the previous efforts, the activities carried out by the anti corruption commission in the 2008/2009 budget year were believed to have due contribution in checking and controlling corruption.

The annual report of the Ethiopian Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission for the fiscal year 2008/09 (July 8, 2008 to July 7, 2009) indicated that it has received a total of 2286 corruption related complaints (787 less than the previous year) out of which 1212 were reports within the commission’s mandate.

(ST)