Protecting state secrets

Makram Tarawneh
Makram Ahmad Al-Tarawneh (Photo: Jordan News)
Major companies set a condition before recruiting people for top management posts: Banning them, after leaving office, from working for the competition for a specific number of years. The goal of such a condition is due to the fact that these people, in their capacity as holders of key posts, have access to sensitive information about the current employer, present and future blueprints, its financial position, along with its plans to grow in the market.اضافة اعلان

Such a measure is of a preventive nature in the first place, and it is the right of these firms to safeguard their secrets and strategies. It is how companies make sure that their plans are not leaked to competitors, which would pose as a threat to their stability and growth.

The same principle is applied by certain nations. They do not allow front-row officials to work as consultants, experts, or other functions abroad. Taking precautions in this area make a lot of sense, especially when money is offered as a temptation, pushing people to put their personal interests before the public’s interests.

In Jordan, we need to examine the way international firms work, and learn from them to come up with a piece of legislation that bars those who have assumed top jobs in the state for a specified period from working for others. These people possess highly critical information, and are aware of sensitive details that should remain within a very narrow circle. The possibility of leaks should be kept at the minimum or even to zero, due to the threats inherent to such a situation.

These people, due to the nature of the positions they have held, know how the state thinks, how it plans, the goals it seeks to realize, the matrix of interests it is sustaining, and the structure of the alliances it builds and the weight of each ally.

This talk is inspired by the experience of Bassem Awadallah, who was, for a long period of time, at the core of the various levels of the planning and decision-making processes, whether while working at the Royal Court or in the government. However, when he left his many posts in Jordan, he immediately worked outside the country. It is very reprehensible how easy it was for him to do that.

I do not accuse Bassem Awadallah of revealing any state secrets, but I am, however, drawing attention to a real dilemma brought about by allowing him or his likes to associate themselves with employers outside the Kingdom.

As was announced early this month, Bassem Awadallah had a key role in the sedition incident, which resulted in his arrest. This leaves the door open for enacting a law that prevents such people from leaving the country and working abroad for a set period of time, perhaps not less than five years.

Who serves at institutions like Throne or the Cabinet, whether a prime minister or a minister, or a director of a security agency should be prevented from accepting jobs as advisors or experts with bodies outside the country in order to protect state secrets.

We may not have previously sounded the alarm over such an issue, but today we stand at a crossroads and we are required to take decisive measures in order to protect our country from any adventurer who may compromise everything to serve his personal ambitions, which have nothing to do with serving the interests of the homeland.

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