Corruption Crime Politics

MVR 66 million spent illegally on 50th Independence Day celebrations, audit report reveals

Republic Square in the capital Male during Maldives' 50th Independence Day celebrations --

Republic Square in the capital Male during Maldives’ 50th Independence Day celebrations —

The state had illegally spent over MVR 66 million for Maldives’ 50th Independence Day celebrations, the Ministry of Home Affairs’ audit report for 2015 has revealed.

According to the report that was published by Auditor General Hassan Ziyath on Sunday, the normal procedure when awarding government projects that exceed a budget of MVR 1.5 million is to submit the proposals to the Tender Evaluation Board under the Ministry of Finance to proceed with procurements.

However, in order to prepare for the Independence Day celebrations, the finance ministry had established circumstantial regulations, which included forming a temporary committee with government ministers to monitor the day’s events. The committee was granted permission to approve any “immediate expenditures” that exceeded MVR 1 million, after publicly announcing the project and evaluating the statistics received after the announcement.

The audit report for 2015 revealed that the state had violated the public finance regulations as it had spent over MVR 63 million on various aspects of the Independence Day celebration, without publicly announcing the projects.

These include the MVR 19 million that was spent on buying light panels to be fixed around Male and MVR 18 million to install light and sound systems in the Galolhu Stadium in the capital for the independence day events.

Further MVR 9.3 million was spent on decorations around the Male suburbs, Hulhumale and Villimale, while MVR 2.7 million was spent on a music show, with additional MVR 5.2 million to air the show live on national TV, the audit report revealed.

Additionally, the report also revealed that MVR 15.6 million was spent on merchandise with the 50th Independence Day logo, without acquiring a quotation first.

The Auditor General had recommended relevant state authorities to investigate the illegal expenditures and take necessary action.

Full details are available at the link below:

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