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Public agencies accused of violations ‘must respond by Thursday’

By JT - Nov 04,2018 - Last updated at Nov 04,2018

AMMAN — Minister of State for Media Affairs and Government Spokesperson Jumana Ghunaimat on Sunday stressed that the government is following up on all the observations and violations  in the public administration listed in the Audit Bureau’s 2017 report. 

The government will work to address all these cases “as part of its policy to combat corruption and waste of public money”, Ghunaimat added.

In a press statement, she said the government is currently reviewing, analysing and sorting out all the violations included in the report in order to rectify the situation case by case, stressing that all actions taken on these violations will be announced with “utter transparency”.

She pointed out all the ministries and agencies where the violations reportedly occurred, 75 in total, were contacted and instructed to respond by Thursday at latest.

The violations will be addressed either through decisions to be made by the Cabinet, or by referring the files to the Jordan Integrity and Anti-Corruption Commission if graft is suspected.  

In a related development, a committee entrusted by the Cabinet with examining the Audit Bureau’s report, held its second meeting on Sunday. Its chairperson, Sami Dawood, who is the secretary general of the Council of Ministers, stressed that the Prime Ministry completed dispatching relevant correspondences to all concerned agencies.

Dawood pointed out that the committee started receiving the responses of ministries and institutions as one step towards settling all the issues raised in the report.

The report was made available to the public after the Lower House Speaker Atef Tarawneh requested its publication on the chamber’s website, a move which, he said in a meeting on Wednesday, was “part of the transparent strategy he believes the bureau should adopt”.

The 2017 audit showed “multiple financial irregularities and violations”, which include 69 instances of financial corruption and fraud amounting to around JD2.3 million. 

These violations were attributed to accountants, treasurers and tax collectors, who “manipulated records and receipts”. 

The law requires presenting an annual report to the Lower House, which would outline any irregularities, deficiencies or weaknesses in the performance of the audited entities. The report should be presented at the beginning of the Parliament’s ordinary session, and at any other time the House of Representatives may require.

The bureau oversees the revenues, expenditures, deposits, advances, loans, settlements and warehouse accounts for all government ministries, departments, agencies, public official institutions and independent official entities.

It also oversees the municipal boards, syndicates, professional unions, charities and voluntary bodies, as well as companies where the government has 50 per cent stake or more.



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