Supporting Greater Transparency and Accountability in Iraq

Speeches Shim

USAID is supporting the Government of Iraq (GOI) and the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to implement strategic initiatives that strengthen governance and public financial management, bolster transparency, and improve the delivery of essential services to Iraqi citizens. 

IMPROVED PUBLIC SECTOR GOVERNANCE

  • Simpler and more streamlined management systems
    Supporting the GOI and the KRG to update their management systems to promote greater transparency and accountability in government-issued capital projects.
  • Guidance for transparently managing local revenues
    Developed a comprehensive guidebook and toolkit explaining the procedures for collecting, managing, reporting, and auditing local revenues.
  • Eliminating ghost employees
    Supported the development of the Identity Management System, a biometric registration system in the KRG that identified over 50,000 “ghost employees” and over 105,000 government employees receiving double salaries.

By eliminating cases of fraud using the Identity Management System, an estimated $37 million is saved per month in the KRG alone.

GREATER CITIZEN ENGAGEMENT TO COMBAT CORRUPTION

  • Civil society oversight and accountability
    Greater engagement between civil society organizations (CSOs) and provincial governments is helping to build awareness among citizens of the standards of service provision they should expect, and the channels at their disposal to hold their local governments accountable.
  • Community outreach against corrupt tactics
    Providing training to government and CSO counterparts to raise public awareness of new processes to help fight corruption and better manage public resources.

A door-to-door campaign in Erbil reaching over 33,000 residents increased public awareness and acceptance of the new smart meters introduced by the KRG. The campaign helped to lower power consumption, eliminate illegal connections, and increase power bill collection.

GREATER ACCOUNTABILITY THROUGH LEGISLATION

  • New legislation and regulation for greater transparency
    Supporting the drafting of laws and regulations, including the Public-Private Partnership Law, the Public Financial Management Law, the Investment Law, and the Solid Waste Management Law.

Updated regulations for the new PFM Law will allow for greater participation from citizens and Parliament in the budget process and add greater transparency to decision making on fiscal policy.

MORE TRANSPARENT PROCUREMENT

  • Procurement reform to support more transparent practices and private sector engagement
    Developed standard bidding documents to speed up preparation time and help the private sector - particularly small and medium enterprises - participate in government procurements, while combating corrupt practices.

To date, standard bidding documents are being used in over 70% of all government procurement, representing over 400 capital investment projects worth $2.71 billion.

MORE EFFECTIVE PUBLIC SERVICE DELIVERY

  • Automated services to reduce potential fraud and improve the business environment

The KRG's Xizmat service portal is enhancing accessibility and efficiency while removing chances for favoritism or bribes. To date, the Xizmat service has over 400 public services listed. Major services are available in Arabic, English, and Kurdish to expand access to citizens and facilitate business registration for domestic and international companies.

Issuing Country 
Date 
Tuesday, April 6, 2021 - 3:30am

Last updated: June 22, 2021