By Libya Herald reporter.
Libya’s Audit Bureau . . .[restrict]has insisted that all state-sector salaries for February should only be disbursed through the use of the National ID Number.
It is not the first time over the past few years that the Libyan government, the Audit Bureau, the Central Bank of Libya (CBL), the General National Congress (GNC) and the House of Representatives (HoR) have called for the disbursement of salaries based only on the National ID Number.
This latest call, however, comes in new and unique circumstances, where Libya finds itself in dire economic straights due to its internal political and military conflict, its diminished oil production and export and the crash in international crude oil prices.
A successful enforcement of the National ID Number and the creation of fixed database of Libyan citizens would considered by many Libyan analysts as a major positive step in controlling the mushrooming state-sector salaries, the inefficient subsidy system and an all-round counter corruption measure.
For the Audit Bureau to call for the enforcement of the National ID Number is one thing, but to actually enforce it is another thing all together. Since the 2011 revolution and the collapse of almost all of Libya’s central state institutions, the Libyan state apparatus and bureaucracy, not to mention its security apparatus – have existed in all but name.
It is not at all clear if the current set of politicians and bureaucrats in Libya have the political will to try and enforce the National ID Number, and the outgoing CBL Governor has stated so on record during an economic conference last year.
He also questions their ability to make ‘’difficult and painful austerity’’ decisions needed to be taken to curtail Libya’s budget deficit and economic problems.
It will be recalled that the then Libyan government had claimed in May 2013 that 80 percent of the Libyan people had been issued with their ID Number.
The Audit Bureau cannot enforce the National ID Number on its own. It needs the cooperation of a number of other state bureaucracies – including the security forces.
Moreover, the nominally state security forces – the militias – are the biggest transgressors of the enforcement of the National ID Number as it is commonly believed that many militiamen have registered themselves in a number of different militias in order to receive multiple salaries.
That is not to say that civilian state-sector employees are not guilty of the same transgression. However, it is believed that if the security forces accept the enforcement of the National ID Number, it would be easier to enforce it on the civilian sector.
It must be pointed out that the culture of multiple salaries was started during the Qaddafi regime, practiced mostly by those strongly linked to the regime such as the Revolutionary Guards.
To complicate matters further, the matter of the existence of two competing political factions in Libya, has added to the obstruction of any honest attempt at fighting corruption. It is worth keeping in mind that there are two heads of the Audit Bureau; one appointed by the HoR/Thinni government and another by the GNC/Libya Dawn faction. [/restrict]