Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki wants to cut the number of ministries and ministerial positions by nearly half in an effort to improve government efficiency, a close aide said on Thursday.
‘The prime minister is preparing a plan for a ministerial reduction,’ said Ali Mussawi, a Maliki advisor.
‘The plan aims to cut the government to 25 ministerial positions by merging the ministries that perform overlapping functions,’ in order to make them more efficient, he told AFP.
There are currently 44 cabinet members, including ministers of state and deputy prime ministers.
They preside over 47 ministries, with Maliki interim head of the defence, interior and security portfolios. Mussawi did not say which of the ministries would be merged.
Maliki had said on June 23 that ‘reducing the size of the government and all unnecessary positions has become an urgent need.’
He also said that official graft must be tackled seriously, and called on parliament to expedite bills he said were lagging, and hampering his government’s work.
Mussawi said he was ‘confident that this project will be accepted by the political blocs, and will be presented to the parliament soon.’
Bureaucratic red tape and official corruption are common complaints among Iraqis.