Ramallah – The Coalition for Accountability and Integrity (AMAN) has launched a campaign to strengthen governance, integrity, transparency and accountability safeguards in the operations of emergency committees, which support the official government effort to combat coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. AMAN called for effective community engagement to make this experience successful and institutionalised.
In its campaign, AMAN calls for promoting governance in establishing and operating emergency committees. In addition to approving a code of professional conduct, values of integrity will be enhanced to ensure impartial formation. It will be stressed that these committees are voluntary, serve the population at large, have a social dimension, act separately from political organisations or parties, and are far from familial, religious or other subjective considerations. AMAN highlighted that emergency committees should be established on professional grounds as required by law. Engaging needed specialisations, particularly medical professions, committee formation will ensure equal representation without discrimination on the basis of gender or age. Specific mechanisms and written criteria will be in place to govern the distribution of any financial assistance provided to citizens.
AMAN’s campaign also emphasises the need to strengthen the systems of accountability and principles of transparency in the work of local committees. Both structurally and technically, these will be answerable to official authorities, including district Civil Defence directorates. Complaints processes will be identified at local government units (LGUs), Civil Defence directorates, and Governor Offices. Mechanisms will be set for reporting irregularities, encroachments or suspicions of corruption. These lines of activity will be made publicly available. Periodic (daily or weekly) reports on functions will be submitted by committees to responsible authorities. These reports will be posted on LGU websites, social media platforms, and mass media outlets. In its campaign, AMAN also calls for maintaining lines of communication with citizens to receive inquiries and respond to requests. Various media outlets will raise awareness of the role and tasks of local committees.