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‘Asset registration process goes on, but slowly’

Majority of high-ranking officials’ assets forms incorrect and incomplete: IWA

KABUL: The Integrity Watch Afghanistan, a non-governmental organization, said on Tuesday that majority of high-ranking officials of the former and current government did not fill their assets declaration form. The watchdog said that that majority of those who filled the assets form provided inaccurate and incomplete information to the High Office of Oversight and Anti-Corruption (HOOAC).

Sometimes ago, the Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA) initiated a survey about transparency and accountability of the high ups in their assets declaration. The watchdog said that the process is going in the wrong direction due to lack of cooperation by the government and provision of incorrect information.

After the survey, the IWA found out that the HOOAC has distributed around 9,607 forms for asset declaration in 16 provinces of the country, but 3,448 forms were not filled by the government officials.

Executive Director of the Integrity Watch Afghanistan, Sayed Ikram Afzali, said that majority of the assets forms (9,607) which ware distributed to the high ranking former government officials, they provided incomplete and incorrect information to the HOOAC.

He stressed that those who did not provided correct and right information about their assets are powerful people and gained too much wealth during their tenure in the government.  “This process is not supported by the government. If this situation continues, it will erode public trust over the government,” he said.

The former government of Afghanistan committed during the Tokyo Conference in 2012 to register the assets of government officials in administration in a bid to ensure the transparency and accountability of good governance and to fight corruption.

Afzali pointed out that so far the government did not fulfill its commitments to guarantee transparency and accountability.

In the current Cabinet, only five ministers have declared their assets. They are Minister of Foreign Affairs Salahuddin Rabbani, Minister of Mines and Petroleum Daud Shah Saba, Minister of Interior Noorul Haq Ulomi, Minister of Refugees and Repatriation Sayed Hussain Alimi, and Minister of Haj and Religious Affairs Faiz Mohammad Osmani.

According to director of the IWA, although leadership of the new government has promised to take issue of assets registration seriously, but there is no sign of seriousness.

He said that President Ashraf Ghani and Executive Chief Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdulla had not registered their assets.

He urged the president, CEO and ministers to register their assets for the purpose of transparency and good governance.

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