Qatar’s State Audit Bureau now has more financial authority and independence in a bit to curb corruption.
Qatar’s Emir recently signed off on a legislation that lets the State Audit Bureau carry out its tasks with more financial authority and independence. Law No. 11 of 2016, which was enacted earlier this week, came just a few months after the Advisory Council had approved a draft bill that would increase scrutiny on public money.
The State Audit Bureau has the power and liability to examine the finances of ministries, banks and organizations with substantial government funding. However, the bureau cannot issue penalties or disciplinary measures on its own. Even though it reports directly to the Emir, it can only recommend what should be done in cases of corruption under Law No. 4 of 1995.
But under the new law, however, the State Audit Bureau has the right to work with more transparency, as it is allowed to publish parts of its findings as long as they do not include confidential information. It did not enjoy this right before, even in cases where embezzlement of public funds and state funds had been confirmed.
The goal of this would be to increase transparency and discourage companies and entities from breaking the law. This move will not only hopefully curb corruption and misuse of state funds, but it could also discourage other businesses who are involved in unethical conduct.