By Hadi Fornaji.
Tunis, 11 August 2017:
The head of the Administrative Control Authority (ACA), Abdulsalam Al-Hassi, has ordered the suspension of the head of the anti-corruption authority pending further investigations into corruption in the organisation. Also suspended are the body’s two deputy heads, the financial controller and the auditor.
The allegations against them have not been disclosed, except that the changes relate to financial matters.
Hassi has also called on the House of Representatives (HoR) to reform the ACA.
It was created in 2013 by the former General National Congress amid frustration that the Audit Bureau was unable to cut through bureaucratic incompetence and corruption because its remit was limited to investigating financial agreements. Hassi was appointed its head at the time, and has since been reconfirmed by the HoR.
It is not clear though that he has the power to suspend anyone. The ACA is supposed to report directly to the legislature (previously the GNC and now the HoR), unlike the Audit Bureau which reports to the government. Its remit is to monitor state entities, inform the legislature of problems and advise on possible action. It is then up to the HoR to then take action.