Lawyer shortlisted for Get Set loan scheme by mistake

Lawyer shortlisted for Get Set loan scheme by mistake
July 30 15:17 2015

High profile lawyer Maumoon Hameed has been shortlisted in the government’s flagship ‘Get Set’ youth entrepreneurship loan scheme despite never having submitted an application.

In a tweet yesterday, Maumoon Hameed, who is also President Abdulla Yameen’s nephew, said the economic development ministry had emailed him saying he had been shortlisted. “Bad news: I didn’t submit a proposal,” he tweeted.

Speaking to Maldives Independent today, Hameed said the email had been addressed to “Dear applicant,” and  said that he would be contacted shortly for an interview.

“It looks like it was part of a mass e-mail, which came to me due to a clerical error. But it makes me question as to how they actually evaluate the proposals,” he said.

“These things can happen due to errors. But big government agencies like this should be more careful before sending out such emails.”

Hameed said the incident also made him question how transparent the evaluation process actually is, and whose proposals are being evaluated.

The Get Set scheme has been allocated a budget of MVR200million (US$13million) for five years. The budget for this year is MVR 40million (US$2.6million). Selected applicants will receive between MVR 300,000 (US$19,455) and MVR 800,000 (US$51,880). A mortgage is not required.

In April, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) ordered the youth ministry to re-evaluate all applications after discovering that two youth ministry staff were among the recipients chosen by the technical committee.

The Ministry of Economic Development has now taken over evaluation of the programme.

Economic Ministry media official Ali Waheed told Maldives Independent that the email was sent to Hameed due to a typing error.

“There are a few people called Maumoon within the applicants as well. That is why it is likely one of our staff made a mistake and sent it to him,” said Waheed.

In response, Hameed said that his email cannot be found with a spelling error typing “Maumoon.”

Some 250 applicants have been shortlisted in the programme.

Speaking at a press conference earlier this month, Get Set programme manager Maheel Ali Jaleel said that the economic ministry has addressed the ACC’s concerns before evaluating the applicants for the second time.

“We are conducting the evaluation in a very transparent manner,” he said.