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Assessing Jordan’s Response to COVID19 under Anti-Corruption Standards

Hammouri, Shahd (2021) Assessing Jordan’s Response to COVID19 under Anti-Corruption Standards. Project report. Transparency International - Jordan (KAR id:92765)

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The report provides an assessment of the Jordanian government’s policies in response to, and during the COVID19 pandemic. The assessment is conducted with reference to the standards set out in international anti-corruption instruments, guidelines issued by the Office of the Human Rights Council relevant to extraordinary governmental powers under COVID19 and Jordan’s Commitments in the London Anti-Corruption Summit of 2016. It is also contextualised within Jordan’s own cultural, political and economic conditions, while the issues investigated relate to the specific risks posed by the pandemic on the public and private spheres. To do so, the report relies on publically available sources, which include governmental statements, news reports, civil society reports among others.

The report examines three sets of policies: those issued in relation to the Defence act of 1992, which was enacted for the purpose of endowing the government with extraordinary powers to enact pandemic response measures; more general policies enacted in relation to either the public or private sectors during the pandemic; and specific policies and decisions in relation to the scope of the London Commitments of 2016. One overarching limit to the research has been the absence and inconsistency of the available information. As such, while the report acknowledges efforts of the Jordanian’s government to strengthen transparency, the available information only allows a partial assessment of the government’s overall commitment to averse corrupt practices during the pandemic.

Assessment of policies issued under the Defence act shows that the government had set out to enact policies strictly within the scope of public health, the enactment of drastic measures was justified at multiple intervals given Jordan’s weak capacity to face the pandemic, yet there was a notable inconsistency and confusion that could have opened the door for exploitation, with absence of direct normative safeguards against such possible exploitation. Nonetheless, the government responded proactively to reports of corrupt practices, and no evidence serves to show any major unattended occurrence of the sort. On another note, the government established an emergency response fund under the defence act, the fund received considerable donations from the private sector. In the interim, one risk that was flagged internationally at the wake of a global enactment of emergency laws was the use of such laws to fulfil a political agenda beyond the public health agenda. In response to this risk, the report assesses occurrences in Jordan during COVID19 relevant to: freedom of speech, judicial independence and the right to public assembly, the protection of which is a vital mechanism in the fight against corruption. The report concludes that there are indicators that the Jordanian government did not provide adequate protections for these rights during the pandemic.


In the interim, assessment of general policies looked at: Jordan’s commitments in the allocation of external funding which referenced protections against corrupt practices; the report shows governmental economic aid packages without discrimination, yet the process of their dissemination lacked clarity and consistency in the policies. Efforts to address corruption related crimes continued during the pandemic. The government showed response to some of the issues linked to corrupt practices and which are particular to crisis situations such as COVID19. More generally, the Jordanian government has shown efforts to enhance digital communication with the public and private sectors establishing multiple online platforms to provide access to information and enable communication with government officials. Lastly, the report shows that Jordan has undertaken some efforts towards fulfilling its commitments under the London Anti-corruption summit of 2016, which mainly address corruption in the private-public relations. To advance such efforts, the executive branch put forth a number of draft legal amendments which would provide: better protections of asset recovery; endow the anti-corruption and integrity commission alongside the audit bureau with further powers and independence; establish new framework of public-private relations which would enable further transparency; and a new framework for the prosecution of illicit enrichment which responds to international standards on the subject matter. Other positive efforts include participation in international committees and dialogue, and steps towards further innovation in the governmental sector. In practice, the public-private dialogue in crisis management as well as the governance of support packages for the private sector were deemed relatively weak, and little information is available as to public procurement decisions during the pandemic. Nonetheless, no evidence shows discrimination in the allocation of support funds or other services provided to the private sector in response to the crisis.

Item Type: Monograph (Project report)
Uncontrolled keywords: Corruption, Jordan, COVID19, Public Policy, Public Health
Subjects: J Political Science > JQ Political institutions and public administrations (Asia, Africa, Australia, Pacific Area, etc.)
J Political Science > JS Local government. Municipal government
K Law
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > Kent Law School
Funders: Transparency International Norge (
Depositing User: Shahd Hammouri
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2022 11:48 UTC
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2022 10:09 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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