Min Ayna Laka Hatha? The Arabic proverb that best translates to: from where did you acquire this wealth? This of course implies at worst a sense of corruption and at best a susceptible source of wealth.
Full financial disclosure has proven to be a public policy measure that increases accountability in the public sector. The financial disclosure law for Jordan has been purposed and talked about for some time now (about a decade) but it seems to have become the latest hot potato in the government arena lately. Who gets included, is the haunting question.
The MPs of the lower house obviously don’t want to be singled out, considering they are the only group of people in government not appointed, hence the suggestion was to include senators, judges and deputies as well. The Senate of course is not enthusiastic about accepting this, probably because they have something to hide.
Obviously laws cannot be passed without approval of both houses and this is one issue that might continue to cause a rift between the two. The MPs of the lower house are concerned they will become targets by the government and that is a reasonable concern.
I don’t know who should reveal their assets more: elected officials or political appointees. Should we be concerned more about the officials we vote for or the ones we donÃ¢??t? I’m leaning more towards the latter but technically theyÃ¢??re both in the same boat. In my opinion anyone holding a seat, office or high profile position in the public sector should be subject to financial disclosure. I do believe it is a good policy for accountability and fighting corruption. It is effective even at the lowest level of operation.
But it seems to be a law that is going to stay stuck in the mud unless the lower house agrees to it as is or the Senate accepts their inclusion, which I doubt will happen.
In a way such a law would serve as protection for government officials who are often accused of corruption without the proper evidence and in a country this small a reputation is everything in politics. Obviously there’s a level of corruption evident in the country but without financial records being disclosed no one has any way of knowing who is corrupt and no politician has a way of protecting themselves. There are of course some honest politicians; there just has to be.
For now I doubt anything significant will become of this law in the short run. I suspect it might pass through both houses (if there is increased pressure from up top) when parliamentary elections come around. The timing would offer some political cover for outgoing MPs and Senators who could vote for the law but not have to adhere to it. Probably not the best way to do it but you have to start somewhere.