This project was carried out with the support of the European Union
AMAN Coalition, in cooperation with the department of media in Birzeit University, launched the results of the study of the national system for integrity. This activity, carried out by the Coalition for Accountability and Integrity (AMAN) in cooperation with Palestinian universities, came to clarify and enhance the role of official, civil and private community organisations against corruption. It, moreover, aims to show how to move from the vertical accountability system adopted under dictatorial regimes, governed by one party or one person, to the horizontal accountability system based on multiple supervisory systems such as parliaments, public control devices, free media outlets, tribunals and syndicates that limit the misuse of authority.
The meeting, which aimed to enhance the immunity of different work sectors in combatting corruption, was attended by Dr. Azmi al Shuaibi, the commissioner of AMAN Coalition, Dr. Bassam Aweida, head of the department of media, Dr. Mohammed Abu al Rob, instructor in the department of media, and Dr. Ayman al Zaru, instructor in the department of Public Administration. In attendance were also students of media, public administration and representatives from media and official organisations.
The ceremony was inaugurated by Aweidah who welcomed the attendees, AMAN Coalition and its commissioner Al Shuaibi thanking them for their continuous efforts to combat corruption with all means and methods. Aiming to create a corruption-free Palestinian society, Aweidah affirmed that Palestinian media needs high professionalism as it lacks professionalism at the time being, hence the necessity to enhance transparency in media.
Al Shuaibi presented a detailed explanation about the study which included the evaluation of 13 pillars of the national system for integrity. These pillars reflect the strength and weakness of each system in its role in implementing accountability and integrity. Al Shuaibi pointed out that the results of this study (the national system for integrity) demonstrated that the Central Elections Committee got the highest grade (73) followed by the civil society (67) among the 13 pillars of integrity. However, the media sector received a low grade (38) which reflects the weak role of official and private media outlets in combatting corruption, whether by investigating cases of corruption or reporting to the audience about corruption and its implications, in addition to lack of practices that reflect integrity in the work of journalists and media outlets.
The media sector, receiving the lowest grade in the evaluation of its role in enhancing integrity in the Palestinian society, was in the center of discussion. Dr. Mohammed Abu al Rob explained: There are several reasons behind this weakness, such as absence of laws which resulted in the ineffectiveness of the legal structure in Palestine, to protect it and its people. He added that the only law in Palestine relative to media is the publishing law of 1995 related to written journalism. Hence, the law is limited to one subject only and not related to social media networks which are currently considered an essential requirement for the success of media and being accessible to the largest audience possible. Palestine is considered one of the first five countries in social media websites. Another reason is the interference of parties (political media) whose role is to mobilize hence it lacks values of integrity, accountability and transparency.
Dr. Ayman al Zaru emphasized on the results of the study especially those related to lack of transparency and not publishing information related to some supervisory institutions.
It is to mention that this activity was carried out in partnership with Transparency International