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News in brief: long weekend and JSC task-force

The president declared next Sunday a public holiday.



President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has declared next Sunday a public holiday, allowing civil servants to have a four-day weekend.

“The decision was made as it falls between two national holidays: Prophet Muhammad’s (Peace Be Upon Him) Eid Milad ul-Nabi and the Republic Day, marked on 11 November 2019,” the president’s office said. “Prophet Muhammad’s (Peace Be Upon Him) Eid Milad ul-Nabi, commemorated on 12 Rabi’ al-Awwal of the Islamic calendar, which falls on a Saturday, 09 November 2019 this year.”

Parliament advises formation of task-force over stalled trials

Parliament on Tuesday approved a recommendation by the judiciary committee for the judicial watchdog to set up an inter-agency task-force to identify reasons for stalled trials and propose solutions for overcoming challenges and constraints.

The criminal court has a backlog of 1,910 cases, including a dozen filed a decade ago, according to a report shared with parliament by the Judicial Service Commission in July.

Transparency Maldives calls for open procurement

Anti-corruption NGO Transparency Maldives has called on the government to institute a state-wide open procurement process to increase accountability and transparency.

The local branch of Transparency International welcomed the state health insurance company’s recent decision to launch an open procurement initiative. Aasandha decided to publish data, documents and information on planning, tendering and implementation of public contracts.

“Corruption in public procurement is one of the biggest leakages in the management of public finances, as the state spends millions each year buying goods and services for public projects. It can scare off honest investors, erode public trust in government, & increase inequalities,” TM said. “Open procurement improves disclosure, data and engagement across the chain of procurement. It makes contracting more competitive and fair. It also helps improve contract performance – promoting positive development and outcomes.”

President meets construction industry association

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih met with senior members of the Maldives National Association of Construction Industry on Monday to discuss challenges facing the sector.

“Discussions at the meeting were also focussed on the challenges faced by construction industry stakeholders, especially Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs),” the president’s office said. “Some of the concerns raised during the meeting include hardships posed when some foreign contractors work in contradiction with the set rules and regulations, lack of regulations to govern logistics and transportation services in the industry, and financial constraints faced by local companies.”

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