23/02/2012 10:01 BAGHDAD, Feb. 23 (AKnews) - Iraq's Integrity Commission has proposed not to abolish the offices of inspector generals in government institutions and instead link them to one of the regulatory bodies, either the Financial Audit Council or the Integrity Committee.

The commission stated that inspector generals helped to reduce financial and administrative corruption, most notably the fake contracts of the Electricity Ministry last year.

Integrity Committee member Shaker Dasher said: "We support keeping the offices of inspector generals, although the government seeks to abolish these offices.

"The government should find an alternative before the abolition of inspector general offices and we know that the Integrity Committee depends on the offices of inspector generals," he added.

Inspector General of the Health Ministry Adel Muhsin previously said that inspector generals serve their purpose because government institutions fear being investigated by them.

"The offices of inspectors general returned $700m (816bn IQD) to the state treasury in 2011," said Muhsin, adding that the offices contributed to preventing around $3bn (3.5tr IQD) going to waste.

The Inspector General of the Electricity Ministry canceled two fictitious contracts worth a total of $1.7bn (2tr IQD) that were signed by Electricity Minister Raad Shallak last year.

Transparency International's corruption perceptions index ranks countries and territories based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be. A score indicates the perceived level of public sector corruption on a scale of 0-10, where 0 means that a country is perceived as highly corrupt and 10 means that a country is perceived as very clean.

In the 2011 corruption perceptions index Iraq scored 1.8 out of 10 and was among the eight most corrupt countries and territories in the world. This is a slight improvement on 2010, where Iraq scored 1.5 and ranked among the bottom five. In 2008 Iraq ranked among the three most corrupt countries and territories.

The Integrity Commission previously assured that the country is working hard to inform Transparency International about its efforts to fight corruption.

By Haider Ibrahim