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June 14, 2019
The Government Monitor No. 4: 1 Reform in 100 Days


What’s the issue at hand?
In the first 100 days after the new government gained confidence on February 15, 2019, 522 legislative texts were published in the Official Gazette. Of these, 25 are laws, 347 are decrees, and 150 are ministerial decisions.
 
The published texts included 477 administrative1 measures, 32 regulatory2 measures, and 13 international agreements3.
 
Of the regulatory measures, one—approving and setting the legal framework of the electricity plan—constitutes a reform, meaning a legislative or institutional change that goes beyond day-to-day policy management.
 
The remainder of regulatory measures mostly concern taxation, such as the extension of settlement periods and exemptions from fines. Other noteworthy regulatory texts include the formation of the coordinating committee for the solid waste sector, introducing licensing criteria for the import of some agricultural products, and a law for the protection guidelines of Hurj Beirut.
 
The administrative texts pertain mostly to appointments, naturalization decisions, and acceptance of foreign and domestic grants and in-kind contributions. The international agreements contain the approval of treaties related to the environment and military cooperation, and two foreign aid agreements.
 
Although the constitution (§ 56 and 57) obliges the government to publish legislative texts within a month of their approval, some ministerial decisions are withheld from publication, either temporarily or indefinitely. This analysis does not reflect legislation that has been signed within the 100-day period but was not yet published or will not be published for other reasons.
 
During this period, the Council of Ministers spent 20 sessions drafting a budget law for 2019, which is currently pending parliamentary approval.
 
Why is this important?
The government is under international pressure to implement reform programs in order to unlock international aid. The government’s first 27 sessions along with the three legislative parliamentary sessions included deliberations about salient issues of reform including the budget and the electricity plan. However, these deliberations require to result in legislative texts and be published in the Official Gazette in order to become legally binding. As such, legislative texts published in the Official Gazette enable the monitoring of reform measures that the government enacts.
 
Background
One hundred days have passed since the newly formed cabinet gained confidence from parliament. In its Ministerial Statement, the government vowed to enact a number of pressing reforms to address the current socio-economic challenges. Moreover, the government pledged to implement reform programs at three donor conferences—Paris, Rome, and Brussels—in order to unlock the funds pledged by international donors.
 
1 Administrative measures apply existing rules and procedures to individuals or organizations.
2 Regulatory measures entail the application or establishment of an impersonal, generally applicable rule.
3 International agreements contain the approval of foreign loans, foreign grants, and memorandums of understanding.
 






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