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Council of Ministers Passes Bill to Re-establish Financial Intelligence Service, 7 Others

ADDIS ABABA – The Council of ministers on Thursday approved a draft regulation to reestablish the Financial Intelligence Service (FIS) – a major government institutions tasked to combat money laundering and financing of terrorism in Ethiopia.

The ratified bill would replace the 171/2009 regulation which paved a way for the setting up of the institution – previously known as Financial Intelligence Center.

The center became operational in 2012.

Since then, it has been coordinating government institutions involved in the fight against money loundaring and the financing of terrorism. It’s work also involved collecting suspicious transactions, analyzing and reporting them to law enforcement agencies.

In a statement Thursday, the Prime Minister Office said the regulation that established the FIS needed to be amended to fill in the legislative gaps key to prevent and control causes, threats and the ever-changing practices of financial crimes as result of technology.

Its provisions were also required to be in line with the international standard and international agreements the country signed recently, according to the Office.

The Office said this soon after the council of Ministers ratified the draft regulation during its 4th ordinary session held on Thursday morning.

The new regulation will help authorities modernize and improve FIS’s efficiency in its efforts to curb illicit financial flows which cost the country, according to a 2016 Global Financial Intelligence report, $26 billion between 2004 and 2013 alone.

The new regulation will become effective immediately after its publication on Negarit Negata, – the official federal government law Gazetterit Gazzet.

Council Endorses Other Bills

Thursday’s Council of Ministers ordinary session has also discussed various issues and passed decisions accordingly.

The Council, among others, discussed the draft law to regulate structure, power and function of the Government Communications Service in detail and decided to make it effective as of January 20, 2022.

Council also deliberated on the Road Transport draft proclamation. The draft document is intended to enhance the contribution of road transport services to the economic and social development of our country, and ensure the safety of the sector.

Accordingly, the Council endorsed the law and referred it to the House of Peoples Representatives for further approval.

The regulation to establish road safety and insurance fund services, draft regulation of driver license certificate, the draft law to limit speed of motorized vehicles, draft regulation to regulate weight and size of the vehicles and draft law aimed to restructure Public Service Transport Service are also among the bills discussed and endorsed by the Council.

The regulations will become effective beginning from the day they are published in the Negarit Gazette.