President Ashraf Ghani has appointed a probe team to investigate appointments at the Ministry of Finance, according to a classified document seen by TOLOnews.
According to the document, the president has threatened to take charge of the Ministry of Finance himself if answers are not provided about the allegations of irregular appointments at money-generating entities including the Ministry of Finance.
According to anti-corruption organizations, the high posts at Customs and the Ministry of Finance weren’t advertised through a proper vacancy announcement process for the candidates, and all those individuals who have been appointed came on the direct order of President Ghani and Finance Minister Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal.
“The Afghan government has so far not shared any clear program with the people for reform in these areas. The Afghan president should prioritize bringing reforms to the Ministry of Finance instead of talking about a caretaker for the ministry,” said Sayed Ekram Afzali, the head of Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA).
“It is clear they have been assigned to the jobs through the private relationships they have. There is a need for an investigation regarding this issue,” said Karim Atal, a member of the Afghan parliament.
Based on the document, a five-member team comprised of members of the Independent Administration Reform and Civil Services Commission and the Presidential Palace have been tasked with investigating the case.
“We have not made any appointments at the Ministry of Finance contrary to the law, therefore the Ministry of Finance is fully prepared to cooperate in the investigation with any entity and organization,” said Shamroz Khan Masjidi, a spokesman for the Ministry of Finance.
“The chiefs who were appointed by the reforms commission through a free competition, they (MoF) officials have replaced them with others, they don’t have permission from the president, advisers have been appointed over the chiefs, it means the chiefs are required to report to the advisers,” said Maiwand Rouhani, Independent Joint Anti-Corruption Monitoring Committee (MEC).
Previous reports indicate that customs revenues dropped 10 billion Afs.
However, the Ministry of Finance at the time said that the revenues dropped because of a decrease in the level of imports.
There is a perception that the corruption dominating the institution is the main cause of the decline in the national revenues.