Saleem: Allowing unsolicited proposals opens a doorway to corruption

Allowing for unsolicited proposals (UPS) from the private sector to the Maldivian government opens a doorway to corruption, says businessman and lawmaker, Redwave Ahmed Saleem.

Speaking in an interview to ‘Sun’, Saleem said the current Maldivian administration came to power with the promise of transparency and justice, and that establishing a policy to ‘handpick’ proposals for government projects without a formal bidding process was unacceptable.

Maldivian government, this Monday, published its UPS Policy in the Gazette.

President’s Office, in its announcement of the UPS Policy, said that proposals which align with the government’s pledges and its development agenda will be considered and assessed using the framework outlined in the UPS Policy.

The office announced that the government wanted to encourage private parties to put forward ideas that will help to deliver better public services and give those ideas a fair hearing and promote private sector participation in the country’s development.

Saleem said that the government will have pre-existing knowledge of the projects it plans to run in the future and that the decision to allow unsolicited proposals will lead to systematic discrimination and priority to specific companies.

“This is unacceptable. This needs to be changed, even if through reform of Finance Act. And this is especially unacceptable coming from a group of individuals who have always talked about the existence of corruption within the previous administration,” said Saleem.

“This will lead to nothing but more corruption and embezzlement.”

Saleem said he had worked together with President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih for 10 years at the Parliament. He said he was confident in the integrity of the President, but that such actions were a result of the influence of those closest to him.

The lawmaker also expressed concern over a culture of threats over job security, which he said has emerged again, especially in State companies such as Fenaka Corporation.

“Some are so fearful over their job security, they don’t dare to even meet us,” said Saleem.

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