On 1 June, at the invitation of the regional office of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) based in Beirut, participated in a workshop on the bill on illicit enrichment, asset and interest disclosure further to the activities supported by the UNDP over the past years and in which the High Authority was already involved in March 2016. The previous workshop had paved the way to the drafting of a first version of the bill that was presented by the Government in 2017.
In March 2018, the People’s representatives Assembly (ARP) started to work on the bill and on 31 May, the general legislation committee of the ARP started reviewing and amending the text. Initially, the bill should have been debated in plenary session on 6 June. An additional delay was required in order to introduce new amendments notably following to the discussions on 1 June but also because some aspects of the bill remain debated. The notion of illicit enrichment, the extension of the scope of the bill to the private sector and the inclusion of new categories of functions in the list of declarants but also the main domain covered by the asset and interest declarations and modalities of their hypothetical publication may still be debated, or even amended.
The discussions of 1 June allowed Tunisian actors to present the bill, its evolution and the debates that persist, and to exchange with experts from the UNDP but also from Lebanon or from the anticorruption commission of Kuwait and the High Authority for transparency in public life in France. The panel on international experiences was an occasion to mention disclosure modalities (scope of declarants and declarations, frequency, etc.). It was also an occasion to present authorities in charge of collection, control and publication, the procedures that they implement and their partnerships with other administrations. Last, their results and the objectives of such instruments in France, in Lebanon and in Kuwait were mentioned.
The audience, composed of about 50 persons from the ARP, the National instance against corruption (INLUCC) and representatives from international and civil society organizations, showed interest in the means needed to implement such a bill, the philosophy behind setting up an interest disclosure or creating an illicit enrichment incrimination and in the balance between transparency and the protection of personal data for instance.
The bill should thus be amended and debated in plenary session in the upcoming weeks.