The current anti-corruption law dates to 2006. A new bill that would have amended the 2006 law passed the lower chamber of Algeria’s bicameral legislative body in February 2019, but is pending approval by the senate. If approved, the law would create a financial penal division within the court of Algiers, with a national territorial jurisdiction and whose mission is to research, investigate, prosecute individuals who commit financial offenses of great complexity, and any other offenses related to bribery, tax evasion and avoidance, unlawful financing of associations as well as currency and banking offenses. It would also provide protection of whistle-blowers reporting acts detrimental to their employment or working conditions.
In 2013, the Algerian government created the Central Office for the Suppression of Corruption (OCRC) to investigate and prosecute any form of bribery in Algeria. The current number of cases currently being investigated by the OCRC is not available. In 2010, the government created the National Organization for the Prevention and Fight Against Corruption (ONPLC) as stipulated in the 2006 anti-corruption law. The Chairman and members of this commission are appointed by a presidential decree. The commission studies financial holdings of public officials and carries out studies. Since 2013, the Financial Intelligence Unit has been strengthened by new regulations that have given the unit more authority to address illegal monetary transactions and terrorism funding. In 2016, the government updated its anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist finance legislation to bolster the authority of the financial intelligence unit to monitor suspicious financial transactions and refer violations of the law to prosecutorial magistrates. Algeria signed the UN Convention Against Corruption in 2003.
The Algerian government does not have a policy that requires private companies to establish internal codes of conduct that prohibit bribery of public officials. The use of internal controls against bribery of government officials varies by company, with some upholding those standards and others rumored to offer bribes. Algeria is not a participant in regional or international anti-corruption initiatives. While Algeria does not provide protections to NGOs involved in investigating corruption, there are whistleblower protections for Algerian citizens who report corruption.
International and Algerian economic operators have identified corruption as an obstacle to FDI, indicating that foreign companies with strict compliance standards cannot compete against those companies who can offer special incentives to those making decisions about contract awards. Economic operators have also indicated that complex bureaucratic procedures are sometimes manipulated by political actors to ensure economic benefits accrue to favored individuals in a non-transparent way.
Corruption issues recently garnered significant headlines in Algeria. On April 1, press reported the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Algiers court had opened investigations into corruption and the illegal transfer of capital abroad. Shortly after, Algeria’s Army Chief of Staff Ahmed Gaid Salah accused unnamed parties of stealing from the Algerian people, and announced the Ministry of Justice’s intention to reopen old corruption cases, including a case regarding corruption in the state hydrocarbons company Sonatrach, though he did not specify which cases.
Resources to Report Corruption
Official government agencies
National Organization for the Prevention and Fight Against Corruption (ONPLC)
Tarek Kour, President
14 Rue Souidani Boudjemaa, El Mouradia, Algiers
Telephone: +213 21 23 94 76
Algerian Association Against Corruption (AACC)
Telephone: +213 07 71 43 97 08