“Corruption in Iraq”
In the context of Iraq, the most harmful effects of corruption occur from the infiltration of private interests throughout the state. The main problems are the increase public sector salaries and widespread fraud in relation to government contracts.
“Understanding in Corruption in Iraq”
Corruption in Iraq is often understood as an individual crime motivated by personal greed and a tendency to violate the law, intended for self-enrichment. However, the political corruption at the center of the post-2003 appears is political system which had more consequences in the state and the day-to-day working of institutions. This means that this systematic corruption is carried out at the elite level, which involving a collective decision rather than individual to use access to state resources unfairly in favor of the ruling class.
According to Transparency International’s definition, political corruption is “the manipulation of domestic policies, institutions, and regulations in the allocation of resources and finances by political decision-makers, whom abuse their position to sustain their power, status and wealth”. Nearly two decades after the invasion and occupation, generally the resources extracted from the state treasury through political corruption are so numerous, which it is too difficult to estimate. In 2014, Ahmad Chalabi when he was chairman of the Finance Committee of the Iraqi Parliament, assessed; the country has lost $551 billion in corruption during Maliki’s two presidencies’ period.
Before the 2018 elections, the Iraqi parliament’s Transparency Commission estimated that at least $320 billion in government funds had gone missing over the past 15 years. At the end of his first term as finance minister (2005-2006), Allawi assessed that between 25 and 30 percent of the government’s budget spent to the ruling political parties. By 2020, in his second term as finance minister, he expected that between $100 billion and $300 billion would be held abroad by Iraqis, adding that ‘the vast majority of these assets are acquired illegally.
Iraq’s oil wealth and centralized economy have led to corruption and the growth of personal wealth. For example, from 2004 to 2009 the Department of Petroleum lost nearly $1.5 billion due to price increases and supply shortages. In another example; “The amount of money the Ministry of Electricity suffered between 2003 and 2011 as a result of oil theft by oil companies contracted with the ministry is estimated at $200 million a month,” said Talal al-Zubai, a member of the Iraqi parliament. Similarly, corruption in power generation and distribution is estimated to have caused $4-6 billion in losses between 2003 and 2020, mainly through padded contracts and the purchase of expensive or inappropriate equipment.