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Friday, August 20, 2010

Commission to Register 45,000 Ethiopian Officials' Wealth


In an attempt to fight corruption, the Ethiopian Ethics and Anti-Corruption and Commission has set a target to register wealth of 45,000 government officials, their families and key civil servants in two years period.

Speaking on a discussion forum this morning (August 20, 2010) with the media, the Commission’s Ethics Education and Communication Affairs Director, Birhanu Assefa, noted that the registration at federal level will begin in November 2010.

“The commission has been working with a foreign consultant firm and we are now finalizing the preparation to start the registration,” he said. Birhanu who stated that registration process includes verification of the wealth of individuals, which will be registered, said the registration will take place every two years.

It was in March 30, 2010 that Ethiopian Parliament has passed the wealth registration proclamation, which has been the pipeline for several years.

According to Girma Worku, the Commission’s Head of Legal Services, all civil servants are not expected to get registered their wealth. “We only focus on the civil servants who are in positions of making decision on resources of the country,” he said.

Girma in his presentation indicated that other than the high-level government officials and ministers, the commission will register wealth of lawyers, prosecutors, traffic polices and other decision makers in different government offices.

All individuals whose wealth will be registered by the commission 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.

The annual report of the 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.

Although the number of reports during the reporting period dropped, the proportion that comprises corruption matter increased to 53% compared to 41% the previous budget year.

“This may be an indicator of increasing public awareness and understanding of the commission’s jurisdiction,” the report assumed. The Federal Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission was established in May 2001.

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