Seminar Engages Effectiveness of Public Sector External Monitoring

Birzeit University Public Administration Department held on April 16, 2014 a seminar on the effectiveness of external monitoring on the Palestinian public sector.

Department Chair Mohammed Al-Hanini spoke briefly about the importance of monitoring, especially external monitoring. Hanini emphasized the importance of having controls in societies, especially in transitional societies such as Palestine, as a critical pillar of good governance and an effective immune system against corruption.

Financial and Administrative Control Bureau head Samir Abu Znaid described the bureau’s supervisory role in external monitoring of public sector institutions, pointing to constructive cooperation between the bureau and Palestinian universities. Abu Znaid said that, despite the fact that the bureau was recently created in 2004 by Law No. 15 of 2004, it was progressive compared to bodies in other Arab countries. Abu Znaid emphasized that the bureau is an independent body that aims to issue reliable and professional reports in compliance with international standards.

Coalition for Accountability and Integrity - AMAN commissioner Azmi Shuaibi addressed the role of civil society organizations and NGOs in promoting the values of integrity, transparency and accountability as well as in the fight against corruption.

MAAN News Network director Raed Othman described the role of the media in fighting corruption, stating that the media faces many challenges in its watchdog role. These include the existence of two authorities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, political appointments, using the Israeli occupation as a scapegoat for corruption, the absence of a media law, the absence of a right to access information law, and a lack of professional journalists to cover events, especially in matters related to corruption.

At the end of the seminar, which was moderated by Professor Ayman Zaru, the floor was opened for questions and a lively discussion ensued.