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MoI to refer corruption-tainted contractors to AGO

MoI to refer corruption-tainted contractors to AGO

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Jul 18, 2017 - 19:46

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Ministry of Interior (MoI) on Tuesday said paying outstanding dues to contracted companies was a priority, but those suspected of corruption would be referred to the Attorney General Office (AGO).

Four days back, representatives of 200 private companies told a press conference that they had implemented 214 construction projects of the Ministry of Interior worth seven billion afghanis during the past three years, but their money had not been paid so far. The companies’ representatives warned of protests if their dues were not paid.

However, deputy interior minister Hamid Tahmasi told a press conference here that the MoI owed more than five billion afghanis to different companies between 2012 and 2016 for food and fuel supplies and construction works.

He said paying debts was a priority of the MoI and a joint committee with representatives of foreign donors had been created for transparency in the debts clearance process.

The committee has reviewed 65 cases of contracts and has suggested paying money to 13 contractors according to their progress in work and full payment of seven other contracts, he said, without giving more details.

Tahmasi said the committee had withheld clearance of 45 contractors due to corruption.

However, he told Pajhwok Afghan News that corruption cases of contracts would be reviewed by a delegation of the Audit Department of the MoI for more clarification.

If the Audit Department found no corruption in these cases, the MoI would pay the money related to them from the government’s budget and those involved in corruption would be referred to judiciary organs, he said.

Tahmasi said the MoI should also pay three billion afghanis defaulted it owed to 150 contractors in years between 2012 and 2014. The money would be provided by the Ministry of Finance to the MoI, he said.

Negligence of officials who had executive authorities, contracts without approval and corruption in projects and contracts were main reasons that sparkted discussions in the MoI, he said.

He added the international community was committed to funding Afghan security and defense forces, but on the condition of ensuring transparency and accountability in spending.

mds/ma

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