Lebanon News

Rifi seeks to lift secrecy on officials’ assets

Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi speaks during an interview with The Daily Star in Beirut, Thursday, May 8, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi Friday submitted a draft law to the Cabinet to force government officials to disclose their assets publicly.

Rifi’s proposal suggests amending Article 2 of the Lebanese Illicit Enrichment Law to lift the secrecy on the officials’ wealth declarations and allow them to be published publicly.

The minister said that such step “would guarantee fighting corruption and prevent taking advantage of official positions” for personal benefits.

“The illicit enrichment laws should be constantly amended to keep pace with social development and recent legislative trends,” the minister said in his proposal.

“Those who wish to engage in public affairs, politics or entering state institutions have to be sincere and clear and far from any suspicion over their financial or ethical statuses,” the minister said.

According to the current law, Grade 3 civil servants, officers and judges are required to submit a declaration to the Lebanese authorities detailing their assets and properties and those of their spouses and minor children.

Such documents have to be submitted within a month of assuming office. The declaration is usually submitted to authorities in a secret sealed envelope. The law does not cover public school and university teachers.





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