The government broke its own spending rules by lavishing millions of dollars marking 50 years of Maldivian independence, an audit report has said.
Auditors found that MVR66 million (US$4 million) was spent on the 2015 festivities without putting the projects out for tender, as required by law before awarding projects worth more than MVR1.5 million.
Most of the money was spent on projects without a public announcement, as mandated by a ministerial committee drawn up by President Abdulla Yameen to oversee celebratory activities.
The committee mandated a public announcement for last-minute projects worth more than MVR1 million before approval and a permit from the finance ministry.
The auditor general recommended the ministry strictly follow public finance laws and ask authorities to probe matters flagged in the report.