Bahrain: ‘Hundreds Of Fiscal Violations’ Revealed By National Audit Office

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Scores of fiscal violations were yesterday unveiled with the release of the National Audit Office (NAO) annual report, Tribune has learnt.

The report which is annually released at this time of the year addresses violations and shortages of performance at government bodies. It was yesterday handed over to the Council of Representatives’ Speaker Fawziya Zainal by NAO Chairman Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa.

The report mentioned some of the violations detected at ministries and public authorities in 2018. In the report, it was stated that many ministries and government bodies had directly borrowed funds from foreign parties without including the debts in the general balance recorded.

The report mentioned that this has reflected a false image of the actual amount of the public debt released earlier, which is nearly BD12.5 billion, while the actual public debt amount was over BD13.5bn.

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In its recommendation, the NAO stressed the need to take more effective measures to control the levels of public debt, to tighten control over it and ensure its management on sound economic and regulatory bases.

Other violations detected included the ones within Education Ministry, where the report showed that 60 out of 134 operating kindergartens in the Kingdom have not renewed their licences for periods exceeding five years. The report said that there was a significant delay in the renewal of licences, and also noted two kindergartens were licensed to operate, although they did not meet the necessary requirements. It was also mentioned in the report that 59 out of 107 private educational institutions, 55 per cent of the total institutions in the Kingdom, have not renewed their licences for long periods of up to five years.

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The report underlined various excessive spending in several government entities such as the Youth and Sports Affairs Ministry, Bahrain International Airport, Health Ministry, Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning Ministry, Bahrain Institute of Public Administration and more.

The annual report is issued by the NAO, as an independent entity, for the aim of improving the government’s performance financially and administratively, ensuring accountability and promoting transparency, by international standards, and within the framework of the laws and systems regulating the process.

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