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Overdue asset disclosure within a week, president’s office assures

The personal finances of the president, vice president and ministers is to be made public for the first time.



The personal finances of political appointees and the new administration’s top leadership will be made public within a week, the president’s office announced Thursday.

Disclosing the assets of all political appointees and their spouses within the first week after President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih took office was part of an ambitious 100-day agenda.

Ibrahim Hood, the president’s office spokesman, told the Maldives Independent that the financial statements of the president, vice president, ministers and political appointees at the president’s office will be published next week.

The annual financial statements of state ministers, deputy ministers and political appointees at other ministries will also be published before the end of March, he added.

It would be the first time the personal finances of senior government officials are made public.

The constitution requires the president, ministers and lawmakers to annually submit to the Auditor General “a statement of all property and monies owned by him, business interests and all assets and liabilities.”

Despite the constitutional requirement, neither former presidents nor the majority of lawmakers have made information about their personal finances available to the public.

In 2017, a report by anti-corruption NGO Transparency Maldives identified the weaknesses of current asset declaration procedures, which it warned “increases the risk of corrupt officials using the names of their family and relatives to hide their assets, which makes cases of illicit enrichment and conflicts of interest invisible and harder to detect.”

It also highlighted the importance of an external agency to conduct a verification process.