The Independent Joint Anti-Corruption Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (MEC) on Saturday said that two important reports on corruption and irregularities of the Ministry of Finance and in the National Procurement Authority (NPA) have not been released, although they have been expected for over the past five months.
According to the MEC, several requests sent to the Committee on Rule of Law and the Presidential Palace to make the reports available for discussion, however, have yielded no result.
The anti-corruption monitoring institution has said that the reason that the government is delaying the release and assessment of the reports is that the government does not have a strong will to fight corruption.
“We persistently urged the Presidential Palace and the committee on the rule of law to assess the reports; however, they pledged to make the reports available for a discussion this week or in coming weeks,” said Maiwand Rouhani, the head of the MEC’s secretariat.
“Preventing the release of the MEC report is a clear intervention of the government in the work of the independent institutions, this indicates that the government does not have the will to probe corruption,” said Sayed Ekram Afzali, the head of Integrity Watch of Afghanistan (IWA).
Meanwhile, TOLOnews saw a copy of President Ashraf Ghani’s order which shows that Alham Omar Hotaki, the director general at the National Procurement Authority (NPA), had recommended Maiwand Rouhani, the head of MEC’s secretariat, to take charge of the Afghanistan Customs Department and Ghani had approved the recommendation. But the recommendation came just after the MEC completed its two reports on corruption.
“This is very concerning issue that Alham Hotaki recommends someone as head of the customs department in exchange for the release of a report. It seems that the division of three important entities of the Ministry of Finance and their transfer was also their work,” said Jawed Safai, a member of the Afghan parliament.
The NPA has not commented on the matter.
But the Presidential Palace in a message has said that the reports are being assessed.
The Palace also said that the government is fully committed to bringing reforms within the structure of customs.
Based on MEC’s statistics, there are about 50 irregularities within the NPA and 80 in the Ministry of Finance and Customs.