Saudi Arabia Adopts Structural, Organizational Measures to Fight Corruption
Royal orders were issued in Saudi Arabia on Thursday, providing for the inclusion of all committees and units specialized in fighting administrative and financial corruption under one body called the “Control and Anti-Corruption Authority.”
The head of the National Anti-Corruption Commission, Mazen al-Kahmous, said that the newly created body “will have the necessary powers to pursue and hold accountable the corrupt, and return the looted funds to the public treasury, in a manner that ensures the strengthening of the principle of the rule of law, and the accountability of every official, whatever his position.”
In line with the royal decree, the head of the Control and Anti-Corruption Authority shall coordinate with the Public Prosecution to continue investigating cases of financial and administrative corruption in some regions of the Kingdom that do not have branches of the Control and Anti-Corruption Authority, provided that a specific mechanism is established between the Public Prosecution and the Authority to ensure that these cases are identified and followed up by the Authority.
The royal orders also included approval of the organizational and structural arrangements pertaining to combating financial and administrative corruption, and stipulated the establishment of a criminal investigation and prosecution unit within the new authority, to specialize in criminal cases relating to financial and administrative corruption.
The new measures, along with the previous punishments imposed on government sector employees, aim to tighten control on the performance of public sector employees to preserve public money.
In earlier remarks, al-Kahmous said that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has requested changing the Anti-Corruption Commission’s system as much as possible in order to eliminate previous bureaucratic procedures that were taking place between the administrative investigations, the public prosecutor and the anti-corruption commission.
He added: “The next stage is the eradication of corruption among lower-ranking employees, after the country has removed the big corruption figures.”