Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s proposed reform agenda was unanimously approved by the Council of Ministers on August 9. Below is a translation of the full text of the plan that has been submitted to the Council of Representatives for approval. The parliamentary session has been scheduled for August 11.
After putting our trust in God, and in response to the sincere calls of the astute Marja’iya, which clearly called for political and administrative reform, and with respect for the will of our dear people’s legitimate claims, and in accordance with public interest, and based on Article 78 of the Constitution, we have ordered the adoption of the following reforms package:
1) Comprehensive and immediate reduction in the number of security personnel for all state officials, including the three presidencies, ministers, members of parliament, special ranks, director generals, and governors and members of the provincial councils, and to continue identifying other privileges of state officials such as housing and vehicle privileges and reducing them to legal standards. The surplus [security personnel generated by this decision] would be reassigned to the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Interior to assist [the ministries] in carrying out their duties in the national defense of the homeland and the protection of citizens.
2) Cancellation of the vice president and deputy prime minister posts immediately.
3) Exclude all senior positions within independent bodies, deputy ministers, advisers and director generals from political and sectarian quotas. A professional committee appointed by the Prime Minister would oversee the selection of candidates based on competence and integrity, and relieve all those who do not have the required conditions to fulfill their duties.
4) Consolidate ministries and independent bodies to increase government efficiency and reduce costs.
5) Holding ministries and other departments not associated with a ministry to account through programs designed for this purpose. A committee evaluates their performance and submits periodic reports to the Prime Minister.
6) Cancellation of contracted advisor posts in ministries and limiting advisor posts in the three presidencies to five advisers each.
7) Revoke the [inequitable] differences in salaries through reform of salaries and allowance systems, and a new salary scale to be created within one month.
8) Cancellation of special provisions for the presidencies, bodies, state institutions and retirees, based on instructions issued by the Prime Minister that take into account fairness and professional competence.
9) Authorizing the Prime Minister to dismiss governors or heads of local councils and their members in cases of faulty performance or violation of applicable laws or corruption cases.
1) Reforming the structure of expenses and revenues of the state through:
a.Tackling tax evasion both in terms of income tax and broadening the tax base, and the development of a system to prevent corruption and reduce the burden on the self-employed.
- Application of fair customs tariffs at all border crossing points, including the Kurdistan Region crossing points; and the use of distinguished international companies in this field to prevent corruption and promote the national product; and prevent dumping in the Iraqi markets.
2) Lowering the upper limits of retired officials’ pensions and submitted a draft proposal, within one week, to correct wrong decisions taken previously.
1) The Crisis Cell shall take the appropriate decisions to activate investment and stimulate the private sector through:
- Activation of loans to stimulate the economy and reduce unemployment, both the loans endorsed by the cell in respect of loans allocated to the industrial sector and the agricultural sector and the housing sector amounting to 5 trillion dinars, and in respect of loans to support small projects amounting to 1 trillion dinars. The committee in charge shall develop appropriate mechanisms and submit its recommendations before the end of this week.
- Carrying out the cabinet and the crisis cell’s decisions to pay the dues of private sector companies in an equitable manner to facilitate their work and create new jobs.
- Completion of the payment term program prepared by the Ministry of Planning in cooperation with the Ministry of Finance within one week, and submitting it to the Crisis Cell for approval, in order to provide services to citizens.
2) Cancellation of all government contract exceptions, excluding current armament contracts in the Ministry of Defense, and authorizing the Prime Minister to grant emergency exceptions.
3) Activation of strategies prepared by state institutions, especially those that have been prepared in cooperation with international organizations.
1) Creating a package of measures to resolve electricity problems in the areas of production, transmission and distribution, and collection, to be completed within two weeks.
2) The adoption of effective community-based monitoring program to detect any decline or failure in the delivery of services in order to hold the negligent accountable, which requires competent service collection, whether at the level of ministries, or local governments.
1) Activating the role of the Anti-Corruption Council, chaired by the Prime Minister, and the launch of a “where did you get this” campaign along with the other functions of the Council, and in cooperation with the judiciary.
2) Activating the role of regulatory institutions, identifying corrupt officials and establishing criteria for evaluating the performance of regulatory This requires activating the role of the National Integrity Commission, the reassessment of the offices of inspector generals, while focusing on the core functions of their offices to consolidate them and increase their efficiency.
3) Opening past and current corruption cases under the supervision of a supreme committee composed of specialists to combat corruption, and inviting the judiciary to approve a number of specialized judges, known for their integrity,to investigate and prosecute corrupt officials,and set a time limit to resolve the issues according to the law.
These decisions, which we are launching today, are the first batch of measures along the path of reform that we seek, and the fight against corruption. With the passage of this package, we will take the necessary measures to implement them.
God is the arbiter of success.
Dr. Haider al-Abadi