AMMAN — The Lower House on Tuesday endorsed the amended draft of the integrity and anti-corruption law, which enables the Jordan Integrity and Anti-Corruption Commission (JIACC) to follow up on the “abnormal growth” of wealth.

According to the bill, estoppel rulings cannot be applied to public rights lawsuits and penalties related to corruption nor can they be applied to retrieving money collected from corruption, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The draft law allows JIACC’s council to ask the Department of Public Disclosure to provide it with photocopies of financial statements, data or information that are related to any of those subject to the Illicit Gain Law, if the council has any suspicions of abnormal growth of wealth. 

According to the bill, the council can also ask the relevant judicial institution to issue an urgent request for seizure of movable and immovable assets and a travel ban against anyone who perpetrates corruption, amends decisions or cancels them, as stipulated in effective regulations.

The commission should issue its decision within a period of not more than six months, instead of the current period of three months as of the date of embarking on investigating a complaint, with the possibility of extending the period for another six months if necessary.

The draft law also stipulates that penalties can be applied to non-Jordanian public employees and employees of general international organisations by obliging them to pay back money collected from corruptive acts, while taking international agreements into consideration. 

In the Lower House’s session on Monday, deputies endorsed equalising wages and allowances of the chairman of the JIACC and president of the Court of Cassation, as well as equalizing the salaries of the commission's board and the deputy president of the Court of Cassation.

The bill also allows for the JIACC's acquisition of immovable properties, as the right of owning movable assets has been stipulated by law.

The bill also identified the authorities and tasks assumed by JIACC's president including supervising the commission, implementing the plans and programmes, representing the commission, signing the endorsed contracts and agreements, along with suggesting regulations besides other tasks.

Monday, September 9, 2019