Abu Dhabi: The State Audit Institution (SAI), an independent federal watchdog set up in 1976, uncovered financial irregularities to the tune of over Dh60 million, it was announced on Monday.
The irregularities were detected in public procurement contracts and the SAI found discrepancies in payments.
The SAI’s Anti-Corruption Department found that there was suspicion of misappropriation of public money in the form of failure to conclude procurement contracts and service contracts that were not implemented in accordance with the terms and conditions specified in the contracts.
Financial analysis and investigations showed one employee along with his accomplices gave procurement contracts to his own company. A team of financial controllers detected that the employee cleared payments by using forged documents. The auditors found that the suspects unlawfully disbursed over Dh60 million.
The SAI has filed a case file with the judicial authorities to take legal action against the suspects and demanded refund of the money to the public treasury.
The watchdog’s president, Dr Hareb Saeed Al Amimi, said that the protection of public funds is the duty of every member of the community and a trust each public employee has to fulfil. He added that every person charged with serving the public must perform the duties of his job and use his authority and his professional influence with integrity and sincerity, without asking for personal benefit for himself or others.
He affirmed that the UAE government has realised early the negative effects of corruption and its consequences of undermining the rule of law, violation of human rights, disrupting development plans and preventing access to the rights and benefits of citizens. The government has decided to complete and enact legislation regulating the work of government institutions and departments in order to supplement the means of preventing and combating financial corruption and to immunise official practices in the public sector against the effects of harmful corruption.
What is SAI
The SAI investigates any financial irregularities uncovered in federal organisations.
It has the power to quiz officials and staff and suspend them, review documents and records and use all means to recover funds that have been spent illegally.
The SAI is the supreme external audit institution of the UAE. It practices audit over federal Government organisations, including ministries and federal departments, the Federal National Council and corporations in which the country has a stake of 25 per cent or more.
It can audit any government organisation in any emirate if asked to do so by the emirate’s ruler.
At the end of next year, SAI will host the eighth session of the Conference of States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption.