Bahrain PM orders probe into financial irregularities

January 1, 2011

A report by Bahrain’s National Audit Court has found that huge amount of public funds have been squandered as a result of financial and administrative irregularities and mismanagement.

The 2009 report details how several ministries, government agencies and authorities wasted the money by not complying with the laws and regulations.

The government has now moved in to address the situation and Prime Minister Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa yesterday ordered the ministerial economic and financial committee to look into the violations and draft a report as a prelude for legal and constitutional action to preserve public funds, the Bahrain News Agency (BNA) said.

“The government will not tolerate any abuse of the public money and will not allow any ministry to break laws and regulations,” Khalifa said.

According to the report released to the parliament on Wednesday and to the public yesterday, the former culture and information ministry came under intense fire in the report that accused it of spending around 3.3 million dinars (Dh32.14 million) on a one-day music festival.

The ministry, split since July into a culture ministry and a media authority, paid a Lebanese singer 164,000 euros and a financial penalty for non-respect of a clause of the contract drawn one day before the performance. The singer was also given plane tickets and simultaneous hotel accommodation in different continents.

Lucrative contracts for non-Bahraini consultants with monthly salaries up to 9,000 dinars ($23,781) were also cited among the 2009 irregularities in the former ministry.

The report said that the Bahrain International Circuit suffered financial losses in most races and activities in 2008 and 2009. Five ministries and three major authorities failed to have the required internal audit, the report said.

Tamkeen, the national employment empowerment scheme, supported sectors that were not included in its strategic plans and highlighted that it was managing 40 projects with a total portfolio of 90 million dinars ($237.8 million) by only 14 people.

The incriminating report is likely to be taken up by the parliament as it debates public spending.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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