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Page added on May 7, 2012

Stop buying iPads, computers and phones, ACC tells government

Stop buying iPads, computers and phones, ACC tells government thumbnail

The Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) has ordered the Finance Ministry to cancel plans to buy computers, iPads and phones for government ministries, claiming that only the People’s Majlis can approve ministerial salaries and benefits.

The Finance Ministry on April 30 released a circular approving the purchase of mobile phones, computers, and iPads for ministers from state funds allocated to the respective ministries. Furthermore, the finance ministry said the treasury would cover up to Rf 4000 (US$260) in monthly payments for ministers’ phone bills.

However, the ACC has told the Finance Ministry that no state institution could approve salaries and benefits for its staff, claiming that the task fell under Majlis’ jurisdiction.

“Article 102 of the Constitution authorizes the People’s Majlis to allocate salaries and benefits for the President, Vice-President, Judges, Members of Parliament and staff of the state institutions. Instead of state institutions deciding for themselves on matters within Majlis jurisdiction, we have ordered the Finance Ministry on May 7 to approve such benefits through the Majlis,” an ACC statement read.

“We would like to remind you the Auditor General has repeatedly criticized such actions in his audit reports and called on state offices not to do so without Majlis authorization. Further, when this commission asked the Majlis for advice on phone allowances, the Majlis Finance Committee told us in a letter on 30 March 2011 to act according to the salary structure approved by the Majlis on 28 December 2011 until the Majlis decides otherwise,” the statement noted.

The Auditor General Ibrahim Niyaz last week released a report on the Department of Judicial Administration (DJA) noting that between October 2008 and December 2011, Supreme Court judges had paid their phone bills amounting to RF 281,519 (US$18,280) from the state budget, despite the fact that the parliament had not allocated phone allowances to the judges.

Niyaz has recommended the amount be reimbursed and that the granting of phone allowances be determined by the parliament.

The Supreme Court on 16 May 2011  released a statement claiming that no Supreme Court judge had received phone allowances, after local media accused judges of misappropriating state funds for phone allowances.

Meanwhile, Chief of the IMF mission in the Maldives, Jonathan Dunn, warned parliament in April that if the country does not reduce its expenditure, it risks running out of reserves and miring the country in poverty.

Furthermore, the Majlis Finance Committee last week has projected that the Maldives budget deficit will reach 27 percent of the GDP by the end of year 2012, a 175 percent increase on earlier forecasts.

Government spending in 2012 is expected to increase by almost 24 percent, reaching Rf17.45 billion (US$1.13 billion) at the end of the 2012, while government revenue for 2012 will be Rf2.6 billion (US$168.6 million) less than the projected amount of Rf10.87 billion (US$704 million) – a 23 percent plunge.

With the shortfall of revenue and increased government spending, Head of the Majlis’s Financial Committee, Deputy Speaker and People’s Alliance (PA) MP Ahmed Nazim observed that the budget deficit will exceed from Rf 3.9 billion (US$ 252 million) to Rf9.1 billion this year (US$590 million), amounting to 27 percent of the country’s GDP.

Finance committee member and MDP MP for Kulhudhufushi, Abdul Ghafoor Moosa, told reporters that unplanned spending on police and military personnel and planned reimbursement of civil servants pay cuts in 2010, are both significant causes for rising costs to the government.

He observed that the largest shortfall in revenue is a direct result of the US$135 million pulled out from the budget with new government’s recently revised policy on lease extension payments for resort islands.

Maldives Inland Revenue Authority (MIRA) anticipated receiving a total of Rf375 million (US$ 24 million) for lease extensions, however the income received dropped to Rf23 million (US$1.5 million) as a result of the decision to accept the lease extension fees in an annual installment instead of a lump sum as decided by former administration.

The loss of concession fees from Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA), the result of a successful Civil Court case to block the Airport Development Charge (ADC) filed by the Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) while it was in opposition, also saw the government receive only US$525,355 from the airport for the quarter, compared to the US$8.7 million it was expecting.

The government-aligned PA’s Deputy Leader Nazim however contended that the 23 percent drop in government income was caused by unrealised revenue from privatisation schemes and a shortfall of Rf 166.7 million and Rf435 million (US$28 million) from the projected dividends of Dhiraagu and import duties respectively.

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16 Comments on "Stop buying iPads, computers and phones, ACC tells government"

  1. Hachey on Mon, 7th May 2012 5:55 PM 

    I can’t stand the baaghees but I cannot believe this intervention from the ACC. As Ministers I believe the state should provide the computers and mobile computing facilities whether it is in the form of ipads or laptops. Of course if the former Minister had a good computer at the Ministry then there is no need for the new Minister to buy a brand new one.

    This ruling by ACC borders on madness.

  2. Ahmed Thoufeeg on Mon, 7th May 2012 7:41 PM 

    I think it’s time we should get ACC for everything.

    Should there be an election?
    Should there be a president?
    How about idols in addu? Should Anni be punished?
    Can maumoon live in Maldives?

    Please ACC answer the above ?

  3. aa on Tue, 8th May 2012 12:07 AM 

    where was the acc when mdp ministers got their ipads and phones? one sided much?

  4. Hoppity hop on Tue, 8th May 2012 12:16 AM 

    When Anni was in power, several senior Government ministers bought laptops and ipads from Govt offices budgets. This was done for a reason, ie in those times, Ministers did productive work. It didnt matter that the anti-corruption commission was against it then, back then those Ministers were serving the public interest and MDP. Thus buying of laptops were justified.

    However the ministers appointed now, cannot be said to be doing any productive work, because they are associated with MDP. Anyone not associated with MDP is accused to be suspicious and fishy and we must all condemn their actions.

    Hop hop MDP !

  5. Castle on Tue, 8th May 2012 12:23 AM 

    ACC Chair Luthfy and Auditor.General Niyaz are best friends and they are both not lawyers and they do not understand written laws.
    Finance Ministry is not giving away mobile fones and ipads to ministers. Those items will remain Government property. Ministers merely use them.
    And 4000 rufiya is not a fone allowance. It is setting a ceiling on the use of official calls using govt money. Ministers will now have to pay back anything beyond 4000 rufiya. This is much more responsible than under Nasheed when ministers clocked up tens of thousands on mobile calls.

  6. Ahmed on Tue, 8th May 2012 12:27 AM 

    Why not give them company cars as well? Gayoom did!
    Well done ACC.

  7. Abdullah on Tue, 8th May 2012 2:04 AM 

    with RF 281,519 a large number of working class civilian salaries can be paid, and more useful expenses can be made. The mp’s already have a 50,000+ salary and may as well be 70,000 or 80,000 with allowances, and it was implied that they cannot Afford a phone and a laptop/ipad? absurd.. this is a good decision made by the government/ACC regardless of who is running it

  8. Beyond the Grave on Tue, 8th May 2012 2:42 AM 

    Every institution in the country appears to be ruling. Bureaucracy gone made?

  9. Ahmed bin Addu bin Suvadheeb on Tue, 8th May 2012 3:38 AM 

    An iPad, iPhone or iAnything isn’t going to increase either their pathetic little brains or make them any more efficient. I’m glad the ACC stepped in to stop further wastage of public money in amusing these morons.

    Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) or Isaac Newton didn’t need an iPad and neither do the great and good minds of the 21st century!

  10. HASSAN, on Tue, 8th May 2012 9:37 AM 

    Everyone here has no right to talk crap about people, we are not present as a state because we cannot even control our actions to save our nation from foreign debt

  11. Paradise on Tue, 8th May 2012 12:03 PM 

    Is this your mother father nosy- :p Gasim English

  12. Sir Ya on Tue, 8th May 2012 12:24 PM 

    I am sure this is the doing of these MDP – THUGS!

    ACC can go take a swim in the pool!
    All necessary purchases are been done!
    Jihaad the Finance Minister took the liberty to do it even before the Circular was out! So cool down pals.

    These guys, especially the PPM ones, are doing a good job for themselves, perhaps as dictated by their mentor.
    Apart from their children going to school, wives going shopping, they going batting, even their servants are driven in the official cars which in reality be used for official purpose only!

    And Dr. Waheed can push all these down his pants to get himself look greater, and thicker.
    Boy! Get ready to answer the peoples!
    This poor sucker cannot see what PPM is doing to him!

    I am sure these MDP – THUGS, are doing this!

  13. Sheikh Imran Abdullah on Tue, 8th May 2012 2:39 PM 

    Stop buying Jewish inventions. If a muslim creates a tablet device, go and but it. It will help the Islamic caliphate to become even greater!

  14. Dhivehi Hanguraama on Tue, 8th May 2012 6:22 PM 

    Obey God and his messenger and do not place excessive value on material things, for the happiness they give you is transient. Whereas the happiness gained by religion, leading a goodly life and posessing a virtuous modest wife who will produce God-fearing offspring, is eternal.

    Alas most of our women are harlots and the pious turn to I-pads for earthly amusement. May Allah (swt) save us from this wretched state of things. Amen. Alhamdulillaah!

  15. hik on Wed, 9th May 2012 6:50 PM 

    average maldivians are starving…where are the dollars coming in as Tax going? the government officials are travelling all over the world and buying all elecctronic stuff …we didnt think this is what the new government dwill do. the previous government is better

  16. Impartial Comments on Thu, 10th May 2012 10:25 AM 

    This probably would constitute as an anonymous tip-off to Minivan and its readers, but you should know that after every recess of the Majlis, they have to buy new laptops for the committees and the members of the parliament.

    It’s not the low level staff that’s doing the stealing, by the way. So much for the Anti-Corruption Allowance.

    So it’s not the right thing to do, by letting the Majlis decide on who’s to buy what.

    And, since the entire system is corrupt, we have to redefine the laws that govern Majlis members, their powers, their allowances, their benefits and their duties.

    Majlis members and ministers must not be allowed to have their own businesses, or there would be conflict of interest. Like the Nexbis business.


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