Libya in 3D: TEDx, Finance, & Legislation

Libya is more than just a country where the Benghazi Terror attacks claimed four American lives.  It is a country where women lead NGOs, the Libyan Diaspora participate, and the legislation is fluid.  This week we are highlighting “Libya in 3-D”: three dimensions of a country in transition. 
  • First, we have long time PITAPOLICY fan, Danya Bashir Hobba, representing the social dimension of Libya in her TEDx talk “Creating Opportunities for Success”.  Danya Bashir Hobba is a Libyan, author, activist, the Executive Director for the Middle East and North Africa, NGO: Social Media for Change and works with the Dubai School of Government on the Arab Social Media Report.  She is a two-time winner of the UAE Young Entrepreneurship Competition.
  • Second, we have a column from Hafed Al-Ghwell, who is among the Libyan Diaspora in Washington, DC.
  • Third, we have a quick translation of some changing legislation.
TEDx Talk
Message from Danya Bashir:
“My name is Danya Bashir, I am 22 and from Libya. I have been a fan of your page for quite some time, which is why I wanted to share my Tedx talk with you and the page… my talk focuses on how people, and youth in particular can create their own opportunities, regardless of their environment as well as break the stereotype that anyone who wears a veil is uneducated or oppressed, because we are not, we have hopes, dreams just like everyone else…”
Follow Danya on Twitter: @ceoDanya
My 2 Cents: Libya’s Financial Sector
By Hafed Al-Ghwell.
Originally Published in the Libya Herald
Washington DC, 13 May 2013:
One of the undisputed features of the oil-based Libyan economy over the past half a century or so, is the dominance of the State in all aspects of economic life. Oil dependency, and the resulting supremacy of State in the management and distribution of wealth, is, of course, unlikely to change any time soon. Economic diversification and allowing for a more private led economy however are now among the key goals of the new authorities and the public at large. In this context, improving access to inclusive financial services should certainly constitute one of the most important building blocks of such an economic strategy.
Despite a series of structural “reforms” attempted by the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) since 2005 and aiming at modernizing and liberalizing the financial sector, it remains far from being so, and the sector is still not in any position to contribute to a strong private sector-led economic growth, which is in turn is a key to creating the jobs that are desperately needed by Libya’s majority youth population and achieving the desired diversification of the economy.
Until now, the many wealth distribution programs that have been attempted by the previous regime and pursued by the interim governments since 2011, have maintained a relatively low poverty rate. However, this policy has, on the other hand, ended up stunting the financial sector, yielding a banking sector whose role is more geared toward salary distribution and short-term low risk trade finance activities, rather than allocating resources toward the most productive projects and sectors. It also undermined the Central Bank of Libya’s (CBL) ability to conduct any real monetary policy.
Libya, however, is now in an ideal position to establish the foundations of a world-class financial infrastructure, and peruse a comprehensive review of its regulatory framework, aligning it to best international practices. The political transition that Libya is going through at the moment can provide an ideal opportunity to achieve a clean break from the past and recognize all financial losses still embedded in the balance sheets of its financial institutions.
The Libyan Government should as a priority, therefore, revisit, not necessarily its wealth distribution policies, but the channels that are used to implement them. In particular, the roles of the Specialized Credit and lending Institutions and the wealth management funds have to be overhauled in order to restore a level playing field in the banking sector. In the medium to long term, the Government may consider how to finance public investments through sovereign and/or project bonds. Although more costly than a direct budget financing from oil receipts, a sovereign security market would pave the way for private sector bond financing (long-term financing) while allowing a real, efficient monetary policy.
In the short run, the monetary and financial authorities should continue their modernization effort by focusing on key enabling environment factors. In particular, there are some major roadblocks that remain to be lifted, including:
  • To avoid conflict of interest and contribute to a level playing field, the CBL should divest from the public banks by transferring its share to the private sector or to a Government fund demonstrating strong corporate governance practices;
  • Since the court system offers very little recovery prospects to creditors, lenders remain excessively risk averse at the expense of borrowers that have insufficient collateral, especially considering the thorny property rights due to the previous regime’s nationalization of all private rights, and which is yet to be addressed by the new authorities, Libya needs to develop a strong and fair insolvency and creditor’s right regime;
  • Regulatory and supervisory standards: By raising the standards in banking, capital markets, insurance, and accounting and auditing, the regulatory agencies would spread best practices within the banking and the non-banking institutions and improve both financial efficiency and financial stability;
  • Governance and risk management: Fundamental to any modernization of the financial sector will be improving sector-wide corporate governance. The recently issued circular on corporate governance was a needed first step, but the CBL must lead a more strategic governance transformation plan that reflects desired sector progress, for example, a clarification of roles for the state-owned or specialized banks. These new governance structures will drive successful financial sector transformation while at the same time representing Libya’s improved and more democratic political climate. These new governance structures will also support the growing role of the private sector and greater competition and so must be set up within appropriate risk management frameworks to ensure continued financial stability and a level playing field.
The new political dynamic in Libya also creates a great opportunity for encouraging the growth of Islamic financial products and services. Howeveras the CBL develops a framework for Islamic finance and micro-finance, there is still a need to address some of the missing pieces and the need to do this in a way that avoids further financial sector distortions, and ensuring that it is integrated with emerging global Islamic finance standards, and respects the diverse needs of the Libyan population. In addition to this, there seems also to be significant market development prospects for micro-finance in Libya. A specific regulatory and supervisory framework would help the micro-finance industry to emerge.
Given the nature and the number of the challenges facing the monetary and financial authorities, including low capacity levels and technical expertise, a comprehensive Financial Sector Development Plan should be considered, including monetary policy management issues (such as establishment of a money market, issuance of sovereign bonds, etc.).
In any event, since there is no entity in Libya with clear responsibility for reform of the overall financial sector as of now, the establishment of a National Steering Committee composed of the main financial sector stakeholders would seem to be appropriate to coordinate technical cooperation and to keep reform efforts on track and serve as a catalyst for rebuilding a sound national financial architecture, with the help of specialized global financial institutions, that can help lay the foundation for a long term economic growth and prosperity on the bases of the best  international standards without having to reinvent the wheel or repeat mistakes that have been learned from around the world.
Hafed Al-Ghwell is an Advisor to the Dean of the Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank Group in Washington DC. Follow Al-Ghwell on  Twitter @HafedAlGhwell.
Legislation No.13 of 2013 of the Political and Administrative Isolation
Source: Libya Herald
Article 1
The standard requirements for holding any public positions, refers to the restrictions that must be applied in the cases of those assuming any of the public positions stipulated in these legislations from the 1st Sept 1969 to the Liberation date of 23rd  Oct 2011 and includes the following;
The First Category:  Anyone held one of the following positions during the period, from 1st September 1969 and the country’s liberation announcement date of 23 October 2011;
1)      Members of what used to be known as the “Revolution Command Council” of the 1969 Coup, members of used to be known as the “Liberated Officers” and all members of used to be known as “Gaddafi’s Comrades Association”.
2)      Organizers of social people’s masses on municipality or national levels.
3)      Chairman, Deputy Chairman and members of the Generals People’s Congress or held the position of a chairman of any municipality or province.
4)      Chairpersons and heads of sectors, institutions, organizations, companies or councils affiliated with the Prime Ministry, the Revolution Command Council or what used to be known as the General Peoples’ Committee or the General People’s Congress.
5)      Anyone held the position of a Prime Minister or Chairman of the General Peoples’ Congress’, deputy chairman of such position, minister or the secretary or the deputy of the General People’s Committee for any specific sector, the public notary of the General Peoples’ Congress or any particular General People’s Committee, or held the position of a Secretary of any Popular Committee of a municipality or province or a secretary of any Sector’s Popular Committee within the province.
6)      Anyone served as an ambassador, secretary at any Public Office, held the position of a permanent representative of Libya at any International or Regional organization of any types, held the position of charge de affairs or consul.
7)      Anyone who held the position of a chancellor or deputy chancellor at a University or was a chairman of a People’s Committee of a university or served as the general registrar of a university.
8)      Any one who served as the head of the interior and exterior security agencies, military intelligence,  security brigades, or served as the head of department of any of these institutions, or served as the head of any of the quarter security offices or the head of any political office at one of the military or security institutes.
9)      Heads of student unions in and outside the country affiliated with the General Union of Libyan Students.
10)  Anyone who held a leading position of any institute connected with any of Gaddafi’s family members or was a partner with them in any type of business.
11)  Members and employees of the Revolutionary Committee Liaison Office, Coordinator of  any Revolutionary Office,  a member of any Revolutionary work team or Revolutionary Convoys or a member of the Special Courts or prosecution offices, members of the so called “Revolutionary Nuns”, Heads and members of the Revolutionary Guards,  Heads and members of the Eliminating/Assassins Committees, Public Guard leaders of main headquarters and branches and anyone who participated in the revolution administration forums.
12)  Anyone who held the position of a director, general manager or researcher at any of what used to be known as “the Green Book Research and Study Centers”, Green Stadium lecturers or held a leading role in one of the media institutes.
13)  Anyone that held a command position at an army base, or was a commander of a defensive zone, or held the position of a president or a commander of a military establishment, body, or institute.
14)  Anyone who belonged to an international organization that posed a threat to the territorial integrity of Libya and adopted violence as a strategy.
The Second Category:  Relates to the Political and Administrative isolation for this category and the behavior that lead to the corruption of political, economic and administrative life in the country during the period referred to in the previous article as stated in the following behavior patterns:
1)      Civilians who collaborated with Gaddafi’s security agencies and their collaboration proven to have lead to human right violations.
2)      Anyone known for his/her constant praise and glorification of Gaddafi, his regime and his green book, whether through media or through the delivering public talks.
3)      Anyone who took a hostile position towards the 17 February revolution by action, incitement, collaboration or provision of any kind of support.
4)      Anyone who committed or helped in any way to kill, imprison or torture Libyan citizens, home or abroad, on behalf of the previous regime.
5)      Anyone who unlawfully seized or caused damage to any public or private property during the previous regime for political reasons.
6)      Anyone involved in stealing the Libyan people’s wealth or became rich on Libyan people’s account or gained wealth, funds, benefits unlawfully inside or outside of Libya.
7)      Anyone involved in scientific, artistic, intellectual, religious, cultural or social activity which aimed at glorifying Gaddafi, his regime or propagated the so called reform project known as, “Libya Alghad” Tomorrow’s Libya.
8)      Anyone who used religion to support or give credibility to Gaddafi’s regime or Gaddafi’s actions, or considered openly, the 17February revolution as being in disobedience to an official ruler.
Article 2
Persons included in Article 1 of these legislations are not allowed to hold the following positions and employment:
1)     Leadership and membership of legislative, regulatory or foundation bodies on any national or international levels.
2)      Leading state positions.
3)      Executive positions ranging between the head of state or the head of government and including the position of a general director on national and international level.
4)      Chairmanship and membership of boards of directors, executive, administrative and regulatory functions, such as, the position of Director and above in management bodies, institutions, banks and public and investment companies, that are solely or partly owned by the Libyan state or by one of its institutions, inside or outside the country.
5)     Membership of any judicial bodies.
6)      Leading positions at security and military establishments.
7)      Ambassadors, consulates, delegates to international and regional organisations as well as other diplomatic functions and technical attachés.
8)      Chairmanship and membership of governing bodies of political parties, entities, institutions and Commissions of a political nature.
9)      Presidency of universities, academies, colleges and higher education institutions.
10)  Finance Auditor.
11)  Leadership positions in various media and publishing institutes.
Article 3:
A committee should be formed under the provisions of these legislations under the name, ‘the supreme commission of applying the required standards for holding public positions’. The commission shall be independent and shall independently financed and will be based in Tripoli. The commission may open branches or offices in other cities.
Article 4:
The chairman and members of the commission are those whose names were mentioned in the NTC decision, No. 16 of 2012 relating to the naming of the chairman and members of such commission. The Supreme Judiciary Council must undertake the task of applying the standards stipulated in article one and article five of these legislations, the Supreme Judiciary Council must also nominate those whose membership had expired and which must first get the approval by of the GNC.
Article 5:
Persons chosen for the membership of this commission must meet the following conditions:
1)      Must be a Libyan national.
2)      Must be known for integrity.
3)      Must not be under 35 years of age.
4)      Must not be convicted in any criminal offence or felony relating to honour.
5)      Must not have been dismissed from any position except for political reasons.
6)      Must not be affiliated with any political entity or party.
7)      Must have an academic Degree in Law and above.
Article 6:
The chairman and members of the commission must make the oath before the GNC prior to resuming their duties in a manner determined by the GNC.
Article 7:
Commission members shall appoint, from among them, during their first convened meeting a Chairman and a deputy Chairman for the commission as well as official spokesman from among themselves, the commission shall issue the decisions and regulations of the administrative and financial system, the commission shall also prepare a budget which then needs to be approved by the GNC on recommendation of the commission’s chairman.
Article 8:
Should the commission’s chairman position become vacant, the commission’s deputy replaces him and assumes all his duties according to provisions of the law until such time when a new chairman is appointed.
Article 9:
The chairman and members of the commission must abide by the same laws governing members of the judicial authorities in accordance with law No. 6 of 2006 relating to the judicial system and its amendments, in respect of disciplinary, investigation and the filing of criminal law suits. They will also have the same immunity similar to that given to the judicial members hence it is not permissible to file a criminal suit or interrogate any of them, accept by a GNC decision, giving authority of that effect, in case of any commission member having a final decree or judgment made against him/her or vacated his position, the Supreme Judiciary Council then nominates a replacement who then gets a final approval of the GNC.
Article 10:
The commission is entitled to investigate any candidate applying for a position, and to seek information on that person as it deems necessary. The commission has the right to summon the relevant individual/s in question and hear their testimony. They can also cross-examine his verbal or written submitted report. The commission has the right to use all necessary means and methods to verify the authenticity of the given information and testimonies referred to in Article 10 and has the right also to use the help of whom ever the commission deems appropriate to help it accomplish its duties.
Article 11:
The commission referred to in Article 3, is under obligation to implement the standards stipulated in Article 1 against those assuming or nominated for positions in accordance with these legislations, the commission decisions may be issued by half of its members plus one , indicating the applicability or non-applicability of standards within a maximum period of 21 days from the date the commission receives the financial testimony clearance and the person’s Curriculum Vita, making sure all needed documents and information are provided.
Article 12:
Those concerned may lodge an appeal against the decisions made by the Commission at the of Administrative Justice Department of the Appeal Court, where the position or employment, the decision’s subject matter, is located within ten days from the date of announcement by the entity they belong to.
The Administrative judiciary circle must make a final decision on the lodged appeal within 21 days from the date of lodging the appeal without the need to go through the preparation procedures.  The administrative judiciary circle must collect all information and evidence on which the first decision was based before making a final decision of the appeal.
The defendants have the right to appeal the decision made by the Administrative judiciary circle in front of a high court within 10 days of the judiciary decision. The high court is under obligation to make a decision of the appeal within 1 month of the date of first lodging the appeal, defendants must provide their statements within the time period allocated above.
Article 13:
The commission must make its decisions relating to the applications of standards of assuming public positions in accordance with the rules and regulations provide within its adopted work charter and which should be approved by the GNC.
Article 14:
It is forbidden for the commission’s chairman, members and workers to disclose any classified information or data received by them or their commission as part of their duties; however the commission is under an obligation to make all its decisions and reasons for making such decisions public without disclosing classified information and he who violates that will be sacked.
Article15:
The candidate or institute making a nomination for a position must fill in the special application prepared by the commission. The nomination must be submitted along with the candidate’s personal data as well as the candidate’s financial clarification and an undertaking to accept full legal responsibilities for the authenticity of the supplied information sealed with his signature and finger prints.
Article 16:
With exception to what is stipulated in article three, the Supreme Judiciary Council undertakes the task of applying the standards provided for in Article one in respect of Judicial members.
Article 17:
Without prejudice to any other severe penalty provided by law, anyone who declines, neglects or give incorrect information in the submitted questionnaire requested by the commission shall be imprisoned for a period of no less than one year. The same penalty shall be applied in the case of any employee or person who declines to provide the commission or refuses access to any evidence or documents under his disposal or refuses to provide help in that matter or destroys evidence.
The same punishment shall also be applicable to those who carry on in their position after a decision of a non-compatibility of standards was issued against them as stipulated in the provisions this law.
Article 18:
This legislation will be in force for ten years from the date of issue.
Article 19:
Legislation No.20 of 2012 relating to the Supreme Integrity Commission and its amendments shall herewith be rendered null and void from the date these legislations take effect.
Article 20:
This legislation shall come into effect, thirty days from the date of issue and all other legislation contrary to this shall be made void. This legislation should be published in the official gazette.
The General National Congress (GNC)
Tripoli, 5 May 2012
This is not a legal translation of the law. Readers should seek a legal translation for total accuracy.

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