General Information

Political Climate

Morocco faces a number of socio-political challenges, including the occurrence of petty and grand corruption in economic and political arenas. The general public believes that politicians are corrupt and merely in search of personal gain, which has led to deep public mistrust in the political system. In February and March 2011, thousands of Moroccans took to the streets demanding an end to corruption, reforms to fight unemployment in the country, better civil rights and a reduction in the power of the incumbent King Mohammed VI. As a consequence of the uprisings during the Arab Spring, the King promised reforms, and, in October 2011, Parliament passed a landmark law to protect trial witnesses and experts, as well as whistleblowers. Nevertheless, the manager for Morocco’s Centre for Anti-Corruption Legal Assistance points out that whistleblowers do not feel protected under the new law and therefore abstain from reporting on corruption from fear of recrimination, as an October 2012 article published by Morocco World News reports. 

A December 2010 article by The Guardian argues, citing a leaked US Embassy report, that corrupt practices have become "much more institutionalised" under King Mohammed VI, and that the royal family has been using public institutions to "coerce and solicit bribes". According to the article, this type of corruption particularly affects the real estate sector. Furthermore, significant drug trafficking in northern Morocco is conducive to corruption, and drug lords successfully bribe the police, judges and high-level officials within the security and customs services in order to smuggle drugs to Europe.

Morocco’s Central Authority for the Prevention of Corruption (ICPC) criticised the country’s progress in tackling graft in its 2012 annual report to the prime minister, according to a Magharebia article from November 2012. The ruling Islamist Party of Justice and Develop (PJD) ascended to power in 2011 on a platform of corruption and judicial reforms; however, little has changed, reports a September 2013 Fox News article. According to a January 2013 Magharebia article, Mohamed El Hassiani, a Moroccan MP, was arrested on 2 January while allegedly in the process of accepting a EUR 18,000 bribe at a café for the purpose of expediting payment on a public lightening contract. 

The US Department of State 2012 reports that corruption is considered a serious problem in all branches of the government. Ministers and parliamentarians are obliged to declare their assets, but declarations are not publicly available. According to Transparency International's Global Corruption Barometer 2013, only 13% of surveyed households consider the government's efforts in fighting corruption to be effective.  Surveyed households identify public officials/civil servants as the third most corrupt sector (behind police and medical sectors) in Morocco, with 73% reporting the sector to be “corrupt” or “extremely corrupt”.

Business and Corruption

Morocco is highly accommodating to foreign and domestic investment, and the US Department of State 2013 reports that the government has actively sought to discuss with foreign investors how to improve the investment climate. Nevertheless corruption remains one of the major challenges to investors. According to a March 2012 article by Magharebia, the chairman of the Committee states that corrupt practices have cost the national economy between 1 and 1.5% of the GDP. The same is supported by the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014, which notes that surveyed companies cite corruption to be the second most problematic factor for doing business in Morocco, after inefficient government bureaucracy. Also the World Bank & IFC’s Doing Business 2014 notes that the country's excessive bureaucratic red tape continues to be a major constraint on the competitiveness of the economy and deters investors. The Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014 further notes that public funds are sometimes diverted to companies, individuals or groups due to corruption and that government officials tend to show favouritism when deciding policies and contracts. In addition, companies behave unethically in interactions with public officials, politicians and other companies to the point that their behaviour constitutes a competitive disadvantage for the country.

According to the Bertelsmann Foundation 2012, market competition is distorted by interference by the Moroccan government – especially the royal family and ‘500 families’ that control much of the country’s economy. Companies controlled by these groups are more likely to be awarded government contracts, according to the same report. In the same vein, a December 2010 article by The Guardian, citing a leaked US embassy report, notes that Omnium Nord Africain (ONA), a holding company owned by King Mohammed VI, has regularly 'coerced' development project workers to grant beneficial rights to it. The article has described the King's involvement in business as lacking transparency and integrity.

Public procurement amounts to 15% of the country's GDP and is reportedly stained by corrupt practices with harmful consequences for the cost and quality of public services, despite the fact that government tender processes have been reformed to enhance transparency. A new public procurement code has been in place since 2007, stating conditions and rules for the management and control of state procurement. The new code aimed to address the shortcomings of the 1998 procurement code in terms of competition and transparency in the procurement process. Freedom House 2011 comments that despite witnessing some progress in the procurement process, there is still considerable room for improvement in this area. On a more positive note, a March 2012 article by Magharebia reports that the Minister Delegate for General Affairs and Governance assured that stamping out corrupt practices such as securing a public tender by “a phone call” was one of the government's priorities. Investors are strongly recommended to develop, implement and strengthen integrity systems and to conduct extensive due diligence before committing funds and when already doing business in Morocco.

Regulatory Environment

In line with its positive stance towards investment, Morocco has made tremendous efforts to improve its regulatory environment. To facilitate foreign investment, the government has created a number of Regional Investment Centres (in French) in 2002 in cooperation with USAID, to provide one-stop shops to minimise and accelerate cumbersome bureaucratic procedures. Several economic reforms have been implemented: modern laws have been passed to regulate the stock market and the banking industry and the tax system has been somewhat simplified. Furthermore, bookkeeping and auditing procedures have been aligned to Western European standards. There is no formal screening or government selection process for foreign companies wishing to invest in Morocco, nor are there performance requirements. The government welcomes foreign participation in its privatisation programme, and the Investment Code (in French) from 1995 applies equally to foreign and local investors, although foreign investors are favoured in many areas, such as in foreign exchange provisions. 

The legal framework concerning corruption, transparency and integrity seems to be in place, and the regulatory system itself is becoming increasingly transparent. However, according to the Bertelsmann Foundation 2012, Moroccan financial regulatory bodies are unwilling to regulate well-connected institutions. Also the US Department of State 2013 pinpoints that the government's efforts to increase transparency in the regulatory system have not yet been fruitful, as the Moroccan administration remains opaque and difficult to navigate, and obtaining routine permits can be difficult. In the same vein, the Bertelsmann Foundation 2012, citing an investment climate survey, states that 40% of those surveyed perceive regulations to be unpredictably and inconsistently applied. More positively, in 2000 the country introduced a competition law that has made government price controls the exception, rather than the rule, according to the same report. This competition legislation also created the Competition Council; however, it remains only consultative, with its authority limited to awareness-raising, ‘to study the competition of different sectors’ and delivering reports to the prime minister, according to Bertelsmann Foundation 2012. Furthermore, the Council is used as an instrument for the executive to pick out the anti-competition cases it wants to prosecute and is not functioning as an impartial institution. Nevertheless, a March 2012 article by Magharebia reports that the Competition Council has become recognised by the Constitution and its powers have expanded. The article notes that the former initiatives are one of the measures that the new Prime Minister has undertaken to fight competitive irregularities in the Moroccan economy.

Morocco has signed the New York Convention of 1958 (with reservations) on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitration Awards, and the Washington Convention, which provides for the use of the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). While Morocco's commercial and appeals courts have generally improved the dispute settlement climate, Moroccan and foreign companies continue to complain about the inefficiency and the lack of transparency in the judicial system, according to the US Department of State 2013. The same source reports that other shortcomings include legal procedures being inefficient and the courts being slow and unable to enforce legal rulings. As a result, foreign companies often settle disputes through arbitration instead of using local courts. Given these shortcomings, companies are advised to include arbitration clauses in all their contracts. Access the Lexadin World Law Guide for a collection of legislation in Morocco.

Judicial System

Individual Corruption

According to a September 2013 article published by The National, the Moroccan government has announced a plan to reform the country’s judicial system that is perceived as corrupt and capable of being bought with a phone call from government officials. The same article reports that the recently announced reform includes a plan to monitor the expenditures of judges to ensure conformance with the income, reports the same article. According to Transparency International's Global Corruption Barometer 2013, where seven out of ten surveyed households think the judiciary is “corrupt” or “extremely corrupt”. 

Corruption among working-level clerks in the courts and a lack of knowledge about its provisions among lawyers also constituted obstacles, according to the US Department of State 2012.

Business Corruption

According to the US Department of State 2013, Moroccan and foreign companies complain about inefficiency and lack of transparency in the judicial system. However, the same report also states that the commercial and appeals courts have improved the conditions for dispute settlement.

Political Corruption

According to Freedom House 2013, the courts are not free of political interference, as they are subject to government pressure and have been exploited to clamp down on government critics. The Bertelsmann Foundation 2012 states that the governing bodies of the judicial system are dominated by the King's appointees, and that the judiciary is occasionally used to punish dissenting voices.

Global Integrity 2010 further reports that the Minister of Justice has the final say in terms of rewarding or punishing judges that have engaged in acts of corruption. Some of the punitive measures taken against judges might serve to punish the independent judges. Similarly, measures taken against other judges might be dismissed by government members.

Frequency

The World Bank & IFC: Doing Business 2014:
- An average of 40 procedures, 510 days and 25.2% of the claim are required to enforce commercial contracts in Morocco.

World Economic Forum: The Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014:
- Business executives give the independence of the judiciary from influences of members of government, citizens, or companies a score of 3.4 on a 7-point scale (1 'heavily influenced' and 7 'entirely independent').

- Business executives give the efficiency of both the legal framework for private companies to settle disputes and of the legal framework to challenge the legality of government actions and/or regulations a score of 3.7 and 3.4, respectively, on a 7-point scale (1 'extremely inefficient' and 7 'highly efficient').

Transparency International: Global Corruption Barometer 2013:
- 70% of households surveyed consider the judiciary to be ‘corrupt’ or 'extremely corrupt'.

Police

Individual Corruption

The US Department of State 2012 reports that Moroccan law provides penalties for official corruption, including within the police, but that the law is not effectively enforced. The same report states that corruption and impunity are pervasive in the police force, and that petty corruption is widespread among the police and gendarmes. Investigations are carried out, yet they seldom result in criminal proceedings or even disciplinary action. 

Business Corruption

Companies report high-levels of corruption within the Moroccan police force, according to the US Department of State 2012. In addition, the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014 reveals that companies identify Morocco to perform insufficiently in relation to the reliability of police services to protect them from crime. 

Political Corruption

According to Global Integrity 2010, law enforcement agencies are not protected from political interference. Likewise, appointments to the police are seldom based on professional criteria and party loyalties or personal relationships are often considered. Moreover, some law enforcement officials, most often high-level figures, reportedly enjoy protection from criminal investigations.

Frequency

The World Economic Forum: Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014:
- Business executives give the reliability of Moroccan police services with regard to enforcing law and order a score of 4.7 on a 7-point scale (1 'cannot be relied upon at all' and 7 being 'can always be relied upon').

Transparency International: Global Corruption Barometer 2013:
- 79% of surveyed households consider the police to be 'corrupt' or 'extremely corrupt'.

Licences, Infrastructure and Public Utilities

Individual Corruption

According to Transparency International's Global Corruption Barometer 2013, nearly eight out of ten respondents think that medical and health services are “corrupt” or “extremely corrupt”.

The health care system in Morocco is also under harsh criticism as corruption also invades hospitals in the country. A corruption case, involving a doctor working at a hospital in Fez, stirred the attention of the country. A January 2012 article by Moroccan World News writes that social media has been used to fight corruption and has been used to catch, among others, the aforementioned doctor red-handed. According to the article, a video was circulated on YouTube showing the doctor illegally selling medication to a patient and negotiating and receiving a bribe in return for a fake medical certificate. The doctor was suspended from the Doctors' Union until the investigation was completed.

Business Corruption

Dealing with licences in Morocco is cumbersome and time-consuming, and the process of starting a company is still not easy. Figures from the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014 indicate that Morocco has a disadvantage in the region with regards to the time and number of procedures required to start a company.

According to Global Integrity 2010, the issuing of a number of licences and permits is subject to preferential treatment and may include bribery. These include the right to have a taxi in the urban and inter-urban areas, transportation amenities, offshore and fishing rights, alcohol licences and the use of natural sand.

Another area for corrupt practices is business inspections conducted by government officials. Global Integrity 2010 reports that business inspections by government officials to ensure public health and safety standards are usually carried out in an arbitrary and ad hoc manner, and bribes are often paid by companies in return for favourable treatment or expedited processing.

Frequency

The World Bank & IFC: Doing Business 2014: 
- 5 procedures are required to start a company, taking an average of 11 days and costing 9.5% of the income per capita.

- To obtain a construction permit, a company is required to go through 15 procedures, taking 97 days and costing 218.2% of the income per capita. 

World Economic Forum: The Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014:
- Business executives give government regulations (permits, regulations, reporting) in Morocco a score of 3.5 on a 7-point scale (1 'extremely burdensome' and 7 'not burdensome at all').

Transparency International: Global Corruption Barometer 2013
:
- 77% of surveyed households perceive the medical and health services to be ‘corrupt’ or ‘extremely corrupt’.

Land Administration

Business Corruption

The Bertelsmann Foundation 2012 reports that private property rights are well defined and protected under Moroccan law. Nevertheless, it is also reported that rampant corruption within the judiciary hampers the enforcement of property rights. The report also notes that Morocco's performance regarding the protection of property rights is worse that the regional average of the Middle East and North Africa. 

Political Corruption

In a December 2010 article, The Guardian reveals, citing a media-leaked US embassy report, that corruption involving King Mohammed VI and the royal family within Morocco's real estate sector is reportedly widespread. According to the article, the royal family has been using Moroccan institutions to 'coerce and solicit bribes' in this sector. The article highlights the lack of transparency and integrity in the King's involvement in the real estate sector.

Frequency

The World Bank & IFC: Doing Business 2014:
- Registering property requires 8 procedures, takes an average of 60 days and amounts to roughly 5.9% of the property value.

World Economic Forum: The Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014:
- Business executives give the protection of property rights a score of 4.8 on a 7-point scale (1 'very weak' and 7 'very strong').

Tax Administration

Business Corruption

According to the US Department of State 2013, citing Doing Business 2010, Morocco has improved its business environment through reforms that include changes to tax payments. The World Bank & IFC’s Doing Business 2014 reports that the country has continued to improve its position in the area of paying taxes, ranking number 78 out of 189 economies – 37 places higher than in 2013.  

According to Global Integrity 2010, the general tax code and its implementing decree fixed taxes according to objective criteria that used internationally accepted standards; these include business, turnover and reporting systems. Yet privileges are acquired through the means of fraud and corruption. Global Integrity 2010 further notes that an official report on the Morality of Public Life on Perceptions states that a reorganisation of work processes with tax institutions has taken place through the computerisation of the management in order to establish more transparency.

Frequency

The World Bank & IFC: Doing Business 2014:
- A medium-sized company must make 6 tax payments and spend 232 hours per year at a cost of 49.6% total tax rate in managing the administrative burden of paying taxes.

World Economic Forum: The Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014:
- Companies state that tax rates and tax regulations are among the top ten most problematic factors for doing business in Morocco.

Customs Administration

Business Corruption

The World Economic Forum’s Global Enabling Trade Report 2012 points out that time-consuming bureaucracy related to trade across borders opens the way for public officials to demand bribes in Morocco. For example, trade is impeded by customs procedures that lack efficiency, and exporting and importing require time-consuming paperwork to clear goods at the border. Corruption and bribery in these processes are not uncommon.

Frequency

The World Bank & IFC: Doing Business 2014:
- A standard export shipment of goods requires 5 documents, takes an average of 11 days and costs USD 595 per container.

- A standard import shipment of goods requires 7 documents, takes an average of 16 days and a costs USD 970 per container.

World Economic Forum: The Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014:
- Business executives give the burden of customs procedures a score of 4.3 on a 7-point scale (1 'very weak' and 7 'very strong'). 

Public Procurement and Contracting

Business Corruption

The 2007 Decree on public procurement establishes the requirements for public procurement, including regulations for competition and transparency, according to the 2009 OECD Joint Learning Study on Morocco: Enhancing Integrity in Public Procurement. Public bodies may apply their own regulations so long as there are compliant with the 2007 Decree; however, those bodies without their own procurement regulations must apply those contained in the Decree. The US Department of State 2013 reports that Morocco has sought, with limited success, to increase the transparency of its public tenders through the 2007 Decree. However, recent efforts to decentralise the procurement process have seen only limited implementation, as suggested by the report. Companies are recommended to use a specialised public procurement due diligence tool in order to reduce corruption risks related to public procurement in Morocco.

According to Freedom House’s Countries at the Crossroads – Morocco 2011, the Moroccan Court of Accounts (COA) released reports in 2006 and 2008 detailing evidence of improper public procurements. Although these reports were initially viewed as heralding increased transparency, the judiciary failed to act on the reports, according to the same source.

See more on public procurement under Public Anti-Corruption Initiatives.

Frequency

World Economic Forum: The Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014:
- Business executives give the diversion of public funds to companies, individuals, or groups due to corruption a score of 3.8 on a 7-point scale (1 'very common' and 7 'never occurs').

- Business executives give the favouritism of government officials when deciding upon policies and contracts a score of 3.4 on a 7-point scale (1 'always show favouritism' and 7 'never show favouritism').

Environment, Natural Resources and Extractive Industry

Business Corruption

Companies report that bribery is not uncommon when dealing with environmental inspections in Morocco. For instance, Global Integrity 2010 reports that business inspections by government officials to ensure public environmental standards are usually carried out in an arbitrary and ad hoc manner, and bribes are extracted from companies in return for favourable treatment or expedited processing. 

A February 2013 news article published by Morocco News Board suggests that corruption is rampant in the sand quarrying business in Morocco. They are often controlled by some well-connected people who have privileged access to natural resources in the country, and the sand quarrying business often takes place in unregulated manners. 

Political Corruption

According to Freedom House’s Countries at the Crossroads – Morocco 2011, the military controls fishing off the coast of Morocco and senior government officials have used this to acquire majority stakes in companies exporting fish to Spain. The financial involvement of these individuals charged with overseeing compliance with fishery conservation policies represents a serious conflict of interest.

Morocco is the world's largest exporter of phosphate and according to the Bertelsmann Foundation 2012, this industry is controlled by the royal family and the "500 families" who monopolise the larger, multi-sector industries and are close associates to the monarch in Morocco. These influential families enjoy undue advantages as they are most likely to win public bids and contracts, and furthermore, enjoy immunity for corrupt practices.

Public Anti-Corruption Initiatives

  • Legislation: Morocco has ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption. However, Morocco is the only African country not to have signed the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption. Articles 241 to 256 of the Criminal Code criminalise corruption, both active and passive, and punishments range from fines to prison. Attempted corruption, extortionbribing a foreign public official and abuse of office are also criminalised. Morocco has criminalised money laundering  under the AML Law No. 43-05 (in French). It covers concealing and altering goods originating from trafficking, corruption, extortion, influence peddling and misappropriation of public and private property. The law provides for the establishment of the Processing Unit of Financial Intelligence. According to a July 2010 article by Magharebia, citing a 2010 report by the Central Commission for the Prevention of Corruption (ICPC), Morocco's anti-corruption legislation has a number of deficiencies. The attempt to engage in acts of corruption is not seen as a criminal offence by the law. Another problem concerns the fact that the electoral code does not oblige parliamentary candidates to present a list of expenditures to the verification board, and does not require the board to publish its report. Also, the ICPC argues that legislation on the declaration of assets remains incomplete; reportedly, the law does not stipulate any obligation to declare the assets of immediate family members. The ICPC report recommends adoption of an overall anti-corruption strategy that includes more than just punitive measures, according to a July 2010 Magharebia article. The decree on the ICPC is seen by the ODID as a step in the right direction, even though further amendments to the decree are needed and would eventually make the agency more effective by providing it with the power to conduct performance and compliance audits. In a positive step towards combatting corruption, Parliament has passed a landmark law to protect whistleblowers as well as trial witnesses and experts. According to a November 2011 article by the ABA Rule of Law Initiative, the same year Morocco passed the Freedom of Information Act. The tentatively named Anti-Corruption and Conflicts of Interest Act was to be presented to the National Assembly in July of 2013, according to a Global Post April 2013 article; however, at the time of review, no further information was available. Access the Lexadin World Law Guide for a collection of legislation in Morocco
  • Government Strategies: In mid-October 2010, the Moroccan government unveiled a two-year anti-corruption plan, which includes over 40 new anti-graft measures. According to a 2010 article by Reuters Africa, these measures include asset declarations for top state officials, government protection of whistleblowers, anti-corruption classes in schools and channels for the public to report graft and extortion by government officials. However, the plan has been criticised by Transparency Maroc because the government has not involved the ideas and views of businesses and civil society. Morocco is currently the chair of the Arab Anticorruption and Integrity Network. The Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs in his 2011 statement praised Morocco for contributing to important activities in the MENA region, referring to the June 2011 Conference for Multi-stakeholder Dialogue on Anti-corruption, which was also hosted by Morocco. According to a June 2011 article by Morocco Tomorrow, the conference served as a regional platform to reflect on the ongoing developments in the Middle East and North Africa and the public demands for government reforms. Regional and international corruption experts participated in the conference, which was held with the joint support of the OECD and UNDP. Moreover, the Moroccan government also in December 2012 launched an anti-corruption awareness campaign, which aims to raise anti-corruption awareness among the public as well as to enhance the government's role in fighting corruption, according to a 2012 news article from AllAfrica.

  • Anti-Corruption Agencies: The Central Authority for the Prevention of Corruption (ICPC, L´instance Centrale de la Prévention de la Corruption) is mandated with corruption prevention, but has been criticised for being unable to receive or act on corruption complaints. The Agency lacks political independence as the chair is appointed by the king and is subservient to the prime minister. According to Global Integrity 2010, the independence of the ICPC is not only limited by political interference, but also by a critically small budget and insufficient human resources. Global Integrity 2010 notes that the ICPC has been relatively active in fighting corruption in recent years, and its authority has been able to regulate and manage cases and investigations independently without negative influence from other parties. According to the same report, officials attributed the low-number of complaints partially to the lack of legislation protecting plaintiffs and witnesses in corruption cases. Together with its partners, the ICPC established the first portal for exposing corruption through anonymous reporting, www.stopcorruption.ma, according to the US Department of State 2013.

  • Processing Unit of Financial Intelligence (UTRF): The Moroccan UTRF was established by the Law on Money Laundering and is entitled to collect financial information and coordinate the means of action of investigating authorities and public agencies as well as advising the government and proposing reforms with regard to anti-money laundering. The UTRF is a member of the Egmont Group, an international network of FIUs.

  • General Inspection of Finances (IGF): The IGF conducts audit and oversight of the activities of the public institutions and funds received from international donors. The IGF, under the Ministry of Finance, conducts investigations and publishes reports.

  • Audit Court (al Majlis al A'laa lil Hissabaat): The Audit Court assists Parliament and assesses local, regional and national accounts. It publishes and presents annual reports to the king and the reports' conclusions are widely published in the media. However, Bertelsmann's Foundation 2012 suggests that the published documents of mismanagement are not always followed up by the authorities. 

  • Office of the Ombudsman (Diwan Al Madhalim): Morocco has an ombudsman institution in charge of overseeing the actions of the Moroccan administration and working for the rule of law. According to Global Integrity 2010, the Office of the Ombudsman in Morocco is relatively effective, and allows the public to easily access information and findings. However, the Ombudsman still lacks authority in terms of initiating investigations and imposing penalties on offenders.

  • Public Procurement: Decree 2-06-388 addresses some of the deficiencies in the former procurement decree. The Decree aims at establishing transparency in the procurement system and introduces measures to reduce fraud and corruption. Freedom House’s Countries at the Cross Roads – Morocco 2011 reports that although there has been progress over the past decade, there remains much room for improvement in the country’s public procurement regulations. Military contracts are not subject to the Decree, and the bidding regulations are often ignored, according to the same source. According to the Public Procurement Decree, major procurements do not require competitive bidding, but strict formal requirements limit the extent of sole sourcing. In law, unsuccessful bidders can instigate an official review of procurement decisions, and they can challenge the concrete procurement decision in court. Access the Portal for Public Procurement (in French) for information concerning tenders.

  • E-Governance: A wide range of government services can be accessed online. The Administration of Customs and Indirect Taxes (in French), the National Fund for Social Security (CNSS, in French), the Office for Industrial and Commercial Property (OMPIC, in French), the Directorate for Investment (in French), Public Procurement (in French), the Ministry for Modernisation of the Public Sectors (in Arabic), the Secretariat General of Government (in French and Arabic) and the Ministry of Economy and Finance (in French) all offer online services to individuals and companies.

  • Whistleblowing: According to a November 2011 news article published by the ABA Rule of Law Initiative, a landmark law which aims to protect whistleblowers as well as trial witnesses and experts was passed by Parliament in October 2011, marking an important step towards curbing corruption. The law also ensures the safety of whistleblowers as well as their families through various mechanisms, such as new identities and safe houses.  Despite the new whistleblower protections, when Justice Minister Mustapha Ramid called for investigations in July 2012 into suspected corrupt payments between a former minister and secretary of a national political party, two whistleblowers from the national treasury where charged instead on accusations of sharing national secrets, according to the US Department of State 2012.

Private Anti-Corruption Initiatives

  • Media: Article 9 of the Moroccan Constitution clearly stipulates freedom of opinion and of expression in all forms. However, Morocco's Press Law of 2002 gives the Ministry of Interior and the prime minister the power to supervise the media, and Article 29 of the law enables the prime minister to suspend a publication if it undermines Islam, the monarchy, national integrity or public order, according to Freedom House 2012According to the Bertelsmann Foundation 2012, the authorities have sometimes responded harshly to journalists overstepping the red lines of expression by banning publications, imprisoning journalists and editors or imposing significant fines for defamation and other press offences. Global Integrity 2010 reports the media have historically been under tight control by the monarchy, but under King Mohamed VI, the monarchy's control over the media has relaxed and the media has become increasingly outspoken and many independent journalists are constantly attempting to break the political and social taboos. Nevertheless, Freedom House 2012 reports that freedom of the press in Morocco has continued to deteriorate. According to Global Integrity 2010, the media sector suffers from a lack of integrity, as a new generation of journalists are involved in petty corruption. The report notes that media funding lacks transparency due to journalists' low salaries, yet praises that certain influential members in Morocco dispose of luxurious lifestyles. These undocumented revenues, according to the report, derive from bribes and extortion. The report also states that the fear of legal punishment or extra-legal intimidation causes a high degree of self-censorship among Moroccan journalists. Broadcast media is dominated by the state or reflects the official government line, although the government does not impose any restrictions on the purchase of satellite dishes, which give access to a wide number of foreign broadcasts. Apart from a few West Saharan websites, access to the internet is unrestricted. Reporters Without Borders 2013 ranks Morocco 136th out of 179 countries, while Freedom House 2013 ranks Morocco 149th out of 197 countries and describes its press environment as “not free”.

  • Civil Society: A large number of NGOs operate in Morocco. They primarily deal with social issues, but also women's rights and human rights, according to the Bertelsmann Foundation 2012. They are often located in the proximity of Casablanca and Rabat and are primarily an urban phenomenon. The government has encouraged and allowed the formation of numerous NGOs, although the Ministry of Interior retains the right to dissolve associations, and reports persist that it has prevented unwanted organisations, mainly Islamist ones, from operating by denying them approval. In addition, while NGOs in Morocco operate with more freedom than in many other Arab states, civil groups that offend the government face harassment, according to the Bertelsmann Foundation 2012.

  • Transparency Maroc (TM, in French): TM, a national chapter of Transparency International, is actively engaged in the fight against corruption. The organisation published corruption-related reports, provides recommendations to public institutions and is active in awareness-raising and training. TM has opened the National Corruption Monitoring and Transparency Development Centre in Casablanca. Activities include informing public policy on prevention of corruption, gathering data on corruption, governance and transparency as well as producing reports and press reviews, which are available on TM's website. Furthermore, TM has established a centre for legal assistance with regard to anti-corruption (Centre d'Assistance Juridique Anti-Corruption) that provides legal advice to whistleblowers and victims of corruption.

  • General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises (CGEM, in French): The CGEM set up an anti-corruption committee in 2006. The CGEM focuses on training, awareness-raising, relations with public authorities and identifying sector-specific priorities. It has prepared a Corruption Risk Map describing corruption risks in relation to electricity procurement contracts. In a joint initiative with public authorities, the CGEM adopted the Moroccan Code of Good Practice for Corporate Governance (in French). Together with the Central Authority for the Prevention of Corruption (ICPC) and its partners, the CGEM helped to establish the first Moroccan corruption portal where whistleblowers can anonymously report (www.stopcorruption.ma), according to the US Department of State 2013.

  • Arabian Alliance for Combating Corruption (AACC): The AACC is an alliance of CSOs dedicated to fight corruption. It comprises several Arab countries, including Morocco, and is headed by the Yemenite Human Rights Information Training Center (in Arabic). The main aim of the AACC is to raise awareness about the risks of corruption and to enhance the role of CSOs in combating it. The AACC is organising capacity building sessions to empower CSOs in their fight against corruption.

  • Network Against Corruption (NAC): The NAC is comprised of 46 Moroccan NGOs, including Transparency Maroc, that have joined efforts on reducing corruption in the bureaucracy with support from government officials.

  • Ethical Customs Observatory/Private Sector (in French): The Observatory was established as a public-private cooperation between the customs administration, the ICPC, the General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises (CGEM), Association of Freight Forwarding in Customs (ATADM) and Transparency Maroc with the aim of analysing the compliance of the customs and private enterprises with ethical principles and presenting proposals for reforms that will enhance transparency and help to fight corruption within the customs. The Observatory issues annual reports on the results of its work.

Resources

The websites listed below provide useful facts on Morocco as well as contacts and tools for companies operating in Morocco:

Sources for further reading:

Conventions and Indices

UNCAC Status: Signed 9 December 2003. Ratified 9 May 2007.

Status on UNCAC Implementation
This field describes the country's status on the United Nations Convention against Corruption. Please note any declarations and reservations made upon ratification. The list of signatories can be found on the UNODC website. Read more about the UNCAC.

Other Relevant Conventions or Treaties:

  • United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime: Signed 13 December 2000. Ratified 9 September 2002.

OECD Country Risk Classification (0-7): 2013: 3

Country Risk Classification
The classification of countries by risk category has the aim of providing OECD countries with a basis for calculating the premium interest rate to be charged to cover the risk of non-repayment of export credits. Countries are placed in risk categories 0 - 7, with 0 being the lowest risk category and thus the least expensive. Conversely, premium group 7 is the highest risk category. Each classification is comprised of 2 components: 1) an assessment of the country's economic/financial situation, and 2) its overall political stability. Access the complete list of OECD Country Risk Classification figures.

Transparency CPI: 2013: 91/177 (Score: 37)

Transparency CPI
This field consists of the score for the country in question on the Corruption Perceptions Index from Transparency International as well as its ranking.

World Bank CORR Index (-2.5 - +2.5): 2012: -0.4

World Bank Corruption Index
This field consists of the score for the country in question on the 'Control of Corruption' indicator in the Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI): 1996-2012.


Data Verification:

Publication date: January 2014

Data verified by: GAN Integrity Solutions 

Information Network

 


Relevant Organisations

 

Transparency Maroc (in French)

24 Blvd de Khouribga, 3rd Floor
Casablanca 20000

Tel: +212 (0) 522 542 699
Fax: +212 (0) 522 451 391
E-mail: transparency(at)menara.ma

National chapter of Transparency International.

Confédération Générale des Entreprises du Maroc (CGEM, in French)

23 Blvd Mohamed Abdou
Quartier Palmiers
Casablanca

Tel: +212 (0) 522 997 000
Fax: +212 (0) 522 983 971
E-mail: cgem(at)cgem.ma

Business association that defends its members' interests. Provides technical assistance and information to its members and promotes transparency and free competition.

 


Partner Embassies

 

Embassy of Denmark (in Danish and French)

14 Rue Tidders Angle Rue Roudana
Quartier Hassan
Rabat 10020

Tel: +212 (0) 537 665 020
Fax: +212 (0) 537 665 021
E-mail: LOADEMAIL[rbaamb]DOMAIN[um.dk]

Embassy.

Embassy of Norway (in French)

6 Rue Beni Ritoune, Souissi
Rabat

Tel: +212 (0) 537 664 200
E-mail: emb.rabat(at)mfa.no

Embassy.

Embassy of Sweden (in Swedish and French)

Ambassade de Suède
P.O. Box 428
Rabat 10001

Tel: +212 (0) 537 633 210
Fax: +212 (0) 537 758 048
E-mail: ambassaden.rabat(at)foreign.ministry.se

Embassy.

British Embassy (in English and French)

28 Avenue S.A.R. Sidi Mohammed
Soussi 10105
P.O. Box 45
Rabat

Tel: +212 (0) 537 633 333
Fax: +217 (0) 537 758 709
E-mail: Rabat.Consular(at)fco.gov.uk

Embassy.

Embassy of Austria

2 Zankat Tiddas
P.O. Box 135
Rabat

Tel: +212 (0) 537 764 003 / 761 698 / 660 654
Fax: +212 (0) 537 765 425
E-mail: rabat-ob(at)bmeia.gv.at

Embassy.

 

Country Profile Sources

General Information Sources

Corruption Levels Sources

Judicial System

Police

Licences, Infrastructure and Public Utilities

Land Administration

Tax Administration

Customs Administration

Public Procurement and Contracting

Environment, Natural Resources and Extractive Industry

Public Anti-Corruption Initiatives Sources

Private Anti-Corruption Initiatives Sources

Web Statistics