In accordance with MENAFATF membership rules, on joining the MENAFATF, members commit to a mutual peer review system to determine the levels of compliance with the international AML/CFT standards. These peer reviews are referred to as “mutual evaluations”.
A mutual evaluation involves a team of experts drawn together from MENAFATF member jurisdictions (specially trained and qualified in the FATF's assessment methodology). The team consists of:
•Financial and regulatory experts.
•Law enforcement experts (including FIU experts).
Training courses for experts are conducted yearly, organized by the MENAFATF secretariat, for delegates within the MENAFATF membership. The FATF also offers courses which MENAFATF delegates may attend.
The MENAFATF is currently in its second round of evaluations which commenced in 2014 under the FATF’s revised 2012 standards and 2013 methodology. The second round includes two components as follows:
A desk-based technical compliance analysis assesses compliance by an MENAFATF member with the specific requirements of each of the 40 FATF recommendations - the relevant legal and institutional framework of the jurisdiction, and the powers and procedures of competent authorities. These recommendations represent the building blocks of an AML/CFT system.
The technical compliance analysis is undertaken by an assessment team prior to an on-site visit of the member being evaluated.
An effectiveness analysis assesses the extent to which an MENAFATF member achieves a defined set of outcomes that are central to a proper functioning and effective AML/CFT system with expected results based on the ML and TF risk profile of that jurisdiction. Experts forming the assessment team use "11 immediate outcomes," including core issues for each outcome, in the 2013 methodology.
The effectiveness analysis is not just based on information exchanged with the assessment team. After the information is exchanged the team will visit the member under evaluation (usually for two weeks, sometimes longer) and interview government and private sector officials to gain a comprehensive understanding of how the AML/CFT system is working. Private sector participation is central to gaining this understanding.
A follow-up process is conducted by MENAFATF on each country has undergone a Mutual Evaluation under the program of the 2nd round. The Follow-up process means that the Plenary is, on a regular basis, being informed of the measures taken to address the deficiencies identified in the Mutual Evaluation Reports. The follow-up process aims at motivating and encouraging member countries to address the identified deficiencies in order to enhance the level of compliance and the effectiveness of AML/CFT systems and exiting the follow-up process within a reasonable time frame.