Syria earn the distinction of the worst performing country global integrity report under the Assad regime
Syria earns the dubious distinction of being the worst performing country vis-à-vis anti-corruption and accountability mechanisms since Global Integrity conducted its first national assessments nearly a decade ago. Although the country suffers from weaknesses in its good governance/anti-corruption framework across the board, sizable gaps can be found in political financing, whistle-blowing protection measures, the anti-corruption agency, civil service regulation, and government accountability (executive, legislative, and judicial). There is no legal framework for public access to information; in fact, “in some issues related to the national security or the army, it is much better to not ask at all” because of the risk of imprisonment. There are no legal frameworks that effectively govern procurement and privatization in Syria, including conflicts of interest regulations for public officials involved in those processes. Despite discussion to establish a national anti-corruption agency in 2005, this agency has yet to be created. Civil society remains weak, and several journalists reporting on corruption-related issues have been imprisoned. The executivebranch of government monopolizes political power in the country; one example is that the head of the executive serves, simultaneously, as head of the Higher Council of Judiciary who also appoints the other members of the court. One relative bright spot in this otherwise bleak governance landscape is a strong legal framework that criminalizes corruption.