Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer has called on Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) chief to expedite investigations into corruption allegations, especially those lodged against senior government officials.
Speaking during a ceremony on Wednesday afternoon to launch procurement guidelines and job classification framework for State-owned enterprises, Ameer said the most important step to stopping corruption is having easily accessible mechanisms to lodge corruption complaints. He said that in addition to the option of submitting corruption complaints to ACC, the President’s Office has also established a whistleblowing platform.
“Cases submitted [through the President’s Office whistleblower portal] are being investigated by forwarding them to ACC or to PCB - the regulator of companies. Since the ACC’s president is present at this event, I want to call on her to conduct a speedy investigation into such cases, even if they are linked with a senior government official. It is my heartfelt request that you work hard day and night to save this State from the scrouge of corruption. I for one, am certain to be someone who will suffer the greatest sadness from loss of public funds,” he said.
Ameer said that he will provide his full cooperation to stopping corruption.
Ameer said that State-owned enterprises is a key pillar of the running of State, and that many of the public services are provided through such enterprises.
“While the number of State-owned enterprises count over 30, each of these enterprises are linked with the direct needs of the people. It is therefore crucial that these enterprises have good procurement guidelines in order to lower the price of their services and improve the quality of their services,” he said.
Ameer said that State-owned enterprises currently use their own procurement policies, resulting in significant discrepancies between procurement policies. He said that it sometimes facilitates corruption.
“With the procurement policies launched today, all State-owned enterprises will have basic procurement policies they will need to follow,” he said.
Ameer said that the job classification framework, meanwhile, will improve the efficiency of policies related to employees.
“Once the enterprises begin implementing the criteria for recruitment and promotion of employees on this framework, they will treat employees with greater fairness. And this will ensure the employees are capable,” he said.
Ameer said the government does not intent to increase the number of State-owned enterprises, but to allow room for enterprises that can be run with high productivity, good service and in a sustainable manner.
“As such, 17 enterprises are currently in the process of liquidation so they can be dissolved,” he said.
Ameer said the government has also established a State Internal Audit Committee and expanded its work in order to improve the efficiency of the procurement system, and that the government is also working on recovering financial transactions flagged in audit reports.