Publications

Program of Palestinian Reform (2002)

The Program of Reform as prepared by the Ministerial Reform Committee
and approved by President Arafat
one day before the invasion of Ramallah

(Unofficial translation) - 23 June 2002

100 Days Plan of the Palestinian Government
(With reference to the Presidential decree of 12 June 2002)

In formulating this plan, the Government was guided by the Presidential decree amending the Cabinet on 9 June 2002, by the President's opening statement in the first meeting of the new Cabinet on 13 June 2002, and by his pronouncements before the Palestinian Legislative Council during its session of 15 May 2002. The Government has thus sought to meet the requirements and demands posed by the current situation, well recognized by all zealous citizens, PLC members and officials, for whom the national good is foremost.

Based on the above, the Palestinian Government:

* Sets out from one goal - in this plan as in all its programs - which is to foster the steadfastness of the Palestinian people and institutions in the face of Israeli occupation and all forms of terrorism that it exercises, settlements, establishment of separation zones, siege and other measures;

* Commits to adhere in its political pursuits to the programs and decisions of the Palestine Liberation Organization and to the Arab Initiative adopted during the Beirut Summit in March 2002;

* Rejects any renewed fragmentation of the solution of our people's cause and emphasizes the necessity of a comprehensive permanent solution based on ending the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory, its total withdrawal to the June 4, 1967 lines, the establishment of an independent sovereign Palestinian state with East Jerusalem (Al-Quds Al-Sharif) as its capital and the achievement of a just resolution of the issue of the Palestinian refugees on the basis of UNGA resolution 194;

* Seeks to deepen the national dialogue, involving all parties within the political spectrum in confronting present requirements and future challenges;

* Strives to strengthen relations with the brotherly Arab states, and urges them to persist in implementing the Summit decisions in support of the steadfastness of our people;

* Endeavors to enhance relations with the Arab popular movement and with the World solidarity movement;

* Seeks to establish close working relations with the peace forces in Israel that oppose occupation, racism, and state terrorism;

* Emphasizes its condemnation of all acts of violence that threaten the lives of innocent Palestinian and Israeli civilians, and considers that such acts provide a pretext and a cover for the forces of occupation and aggression in Israel to go to ever higher levels in perpetrating violence and atrocities against Palestinian civilians, while creating an atmosphere of hostility, hate and bewilderment within the Israeli society, thus enabling these forces to persist in implementing their plans, whose cost is paid by both the Palestinian and the Israeli peoples.

* Urges the Quartet (the United States, the European Union, the Russian Federation and the United Nations) to adhere to the positions that have adopted in their recent meeting in Madrid, and calls upon the Quartet to expand its efforts to bring about the implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions, and to commit Israel to abide by the signed agreements, to cease its aggression against Palestinian National Authority areas, to stop its invasions, incursions and re-occupation, and to withdraw its forces from these areas;

* Seeks to strengthen its relations with all friendly countries, in particular Japan, China, the non-aligned countries, and the Islamic and African countries;

* Calls upon all regional and international parties to support the Palestinian National Authority in its quest to end the policy of siege, encirclement and establishment of separation zones that hamper, and can even abort, the implementation of the reform and development plan;

* Expresses its readiness to cooperate effectively with all brotherly, friendly and interested parties all over the world in order to create the appropriate atmosphere to put an end to violence in all its forms, immediately and without delay, and to restore the atmosphere of trust amongst all parties and to launch an effective peace process in order to implement international resolutions and the Arab initiative;

* Stresses that it will work toward the realization of a real and effective peace, for it is a Government that believes in dialogue and respect of international and national legitimacy, and a Government that seeks to pursue all legitimate and peaceful means to achieve the objectives of the Palestinian people to end occupation, enjoy freedom and independence and establish the State of Palestine with East Jerusalem (Al-Quds Al-Sharif) as its capital;

* Acknowledges with gratitude the willingness of brotherly and friendly governments to support the process of reform and development, and urges these governments to fulfill their financial commitments and requests their help in rebuilding the institutions, installations and infrastructure that have been destroyed by the Israeli occupation.

The Palestinian Government, while calling upon all sections of the Palestinian society, in particular the youth, who are the pride and backbone of this steadfast and struggling people, to employ their creative energies in the pursuit of reconstruction and to participate in the making of a promising future and in the making of peace in this blessed and holy land, endeavors to strive truthfully and with unwavering commitment to reform and develop its methods of work and to make them more efficient and effective in the service of the national good, cognizant of the fact that its success in its political and national tasks depends on the trust of its citizens and on its ability to influence the course of events based on this trust. Therefore, the Government takes upon itself to achieve the following:

A- In the general domain

1- Reinforce the separation of powers, such that the Legislative Council can play its role to the full, as well as the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law.

2- Restructure the ministries and governmental institutions, review their methods of work, and create a modern and effective civil service, as elements of a reform process that ensures the effectiveness and efficiency of work in the service of the citizen.

3- Prepare for holding municipal, legislative and presidential elections and ensure that elections are also held within unions and organizations of the civil society, wherever elections have not been held contrary to the by-laws of these organizations, thus reinforcing the principles of democracy, transparency and accountability.

4- Put into force all laws that have been passed.

5- Give the needs of the people greater attention and endeavor to improve their standard of living, in particular unemployed laborers and other segments of the society that live in dire conditions.

6- Rebuild the infrastructure that has been destroyed by the occupation.

7- Tend to the needs of the families of martyrs, the wounded, the prisoners, and the detainees.

B- In the domain of public security

1- Restructure the Ministry of Interior and modernize its apparatuses as befits the requirements of the present situation.

2- Attach the Preventive Security Services, the Police, and the Civil Defense to the Ministry of Interior so that this Ministry will be in charge of all matters relating to internal security according to the law.

3- Activate the role of the Ministry of Interior and its apparatuses in the enforcement of court rulings.

4- Give utmost attention to the need of the population for safety, order and respect of the law and take measures that respond to the expectations of the people and their demands within the law.

5- Deal with the negative phenomena arising from lack of discipline within the security services and weakening social control.

6- Reinforce the loyalty to the Authority and to the job within the security services, as a manifestation of the loyalty to the country.

7- Raise awareness among the population regarding the need for the preceding measures in order to secure their understanding, cooperation and support.

C- In the financial domain

1- Reform operations within the Ministry of Finance with view to serve the public good and to enhance the credibility of the Palestinian National Authority in the financial domain, both internally and externally.

2- Deposit all income of the PNA: taxes, fees, profits from commercial and investment activities, foreign aid in grants and loans, including financial extended to projects, in a single account of the treasury, and implement the principle of the indivisibility of the treasury in the management of public funds.

3- Reorganize commercial and investment operations run by the PNA through the establishment of a Palestinian Investment Fund that will be responsible for managing all these operations and that will be managed by an accountable board that will subjected to the most stringent standards of disclosure and auditing.

4- Limit expansion of employment in the Public Sector and unify the payroll administration, placing it completely under the Ministry of Finance.

5- Finish work on a modern pension scheme and put it into force as quickly as possible.

6- Activate and develop internal auditing, through the appointment of financial auditors from the Ministry of Finance in all positions of responsibility; and external auditing, by enhancing the independence of the Office of Auditor General and having it submit regular reports to the President and the PLC.

7- Develop the process of preparing the general budget, including the development budget, through the establishment of an organic link between recurrent expenditures and developmental expenditures.

8- Put in place a monthly expenditure plan for the remainder of 2002 that can be implemented in view of available resources.

9- Start working on preparing the budget for the year 2003 according to the rules and time line in the current legislation.

10- Reorganize the financial relations between Ministry of Finance, on the one hand, and the Municipalities and Local Authorities, on the other hand.

D- In the judicial domain

1- Activate the judiciary and secure its needs, such as the appointment of the required number of judges and the building of courthouses and offices of the district attorneys in the various cities, as well as building modern prisons.

2- Implement measures required by the "Judiciary Law," which went into force on 18 June 2002, such as the formation of the Court of Cassation, the establishment of the "Department of Judicial Inspection," and the modernization and development of court administrations.

3- Prepare draft laws, decrees, and decisions that will be required once the Basic Law goes into force.

4- Establish the "Governmental Legal Cases Administration," which will handle legal cases to which the Government is party.

E- In other domains 1- Seek to reinforce national, patriotic, and religious ethical and humanistic values, having in mind that Palestine represents a holy land to the whole world, and renounce fanaticism in the educational curricula and spread the sprit of democracy, enlightenment, and openness on a wide scale.

2- Activate the role of the Ministry of Awqaf in the making of the Palestinian individual, and direct its institutions to serve the national and religious objectives that the PNA seeks to achieve.

3- Strive to find solutions to the chronic financial problems of the universities, schools, and hospitals.

4- Reconsider all government institutions that operate outside the jurisdiction of the ministries, with view to attach them or incorporate them within the body of the ministries, as a necessary measure to reform the public administration and increase its efficiency, in particular in the domain of information, radio, and television.

5- End the role of the security services in civilian affairs that are the responsibility of ministries, according to the law.

6- Treat the deficiencies in the present employment policy, which has led to an inflated civil service.

7- Unify and develop the various investment institutions and promulgate laws that encourage and bolster investment.

8- Train the human resources and employ them under attractive conditions that help reinforce positive work values.

9- Coordinate with the Political Department of the PLO in order to increase the effectiveness of the diplomatic corps and to carry out he necessary changes.

10- Rebuild the management boards of government institutions according to the law, including the Palestinian Monetary Authority, for which a governor will be appointed.

11- Pay special attention to the pollution of the environment and put into force quickly effective measures in order to deal with the illicit transport and burial in Palestinian territory of toxic wastes by Israel.

The Palestinian Government, as an expression of its determination to implement the measures listed above, during the next 100 days, puts forth the following schedule and commits to implement it:
1- The Basic Law will be published in the Official Gazette no later than 15/7/2002

2- The government will start implementing measures that separate powers immediately.

3- A Presidential decree annexing the Preventive Security Services, the Police, and the Civil Defense to the Ministry of Interior will be issued within one week of the adoption of this plan, and the process of annexation will be completed within two months thence.

4- Regulations relevant to the Governors will be prepared and issued by the end of September 2002.

5- Restructuring all ministries and government institutions and reforming their operations will take place, starting with the conciliation of the operations of the Ministries of Finance, Planning and International Cooperation, and Economy, Industry and Trade within two months of the adoption of this plan.

6- Submit the 2003 Budget Law to the Legislative Council on 1/11/2002, as stipulated by the law.

7- Submit the Chambers of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture Law to the Legislative Council within one month.

8- Appoint the number of competent judges necessary to activate the judiciary no later than end of September 2002.

9- Start preparing for holding presidential and legislative elections within one month with view to hold these elections no later than January 2003.

10- Start preparing for holding municipal elections with view to hold these elections no later than March 2003.

11- Merge the various information services and domains into the Ministry of Information and Culture no later than end of September 2002.

12- The ministries to finish preparing 3-months plans based on the guidelines of this reform and development program and to submit these plans to the Cabinet within two weeks of the adoption of this plan.

13- Start working immediately on implementing all other measures in this plan so as to leave an effect, tangible and visible to the people, within 3 months of its adoption.