Bahrain to investigate $1.1 billion of wasted public funds

Bahraini politicians are to investigate the squandering of 400 million dinars ($1.06 billion) of public funds by government departments and state-linked companies.

The $1 billion-plus would represent a significant proportion of the kingdom’s gross domestic product – pegged at $34 billion by the International Monetary Fund last year – at a time when the oil-producing Gulf Arab state’s finances are under increased pressure because of a fall in crude prices.

The National Audit Court (NAC) produced the figure in its 2013/14 report, the Gulf Daily News said. Mohammed al-Ahmed, parliamentary economic affairs committee member, said that ministers would be quizzed and committees set up to investigate possible tender violations.

The National Audit Office told Reuters that the report was not public and had been distributed to select people only. It declined to provide more information.

The report by the NAC, set up set up in 2011 to fight corruption and increase transparency in government, alleges that money was wasted at state-linked companies including and Aluminium Bahrain.

The newspaper did not give details of what violations might have occurred but quoted Mr Ahmed as saying that the government had not addressed recurring violations and that government departments were circumventing laws on tenders.



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