More than MVR1.1 million (US$71,335) worth of oil was purchased for the Gaaf Dhaal Kaadedhdhoo airport last year in violation of public finance laws and regulations, an audit of the tourism ministry’s finances for 2017 found.
The Regional Airports Authority of the ministry bought the oil without making a public announcement or signing a formal agreement with the supplier, according to the audit report.
But the finance rules mandate a public bidding process for any project worth more than MVR35,000. A senior official was also required to sign a form authorising the purchase of goods or service, but no such documents were to be found, the report noted.
Some MVR16 million was spent on the southern airport without budget allocations, it added, which caused the airport to use up all income for running expenses rather than depositing it to the pubic account as compelled by the finance laws.
Auditor General Hassan Ziyath recommended the airport authority to adhere to the public finance laws and rules.
The airport was brought under government management after the termination of a 50-year lease agreement with Jumhooree Party leader Gasim Ibrahim’s Villa Group.