HRH the Premier
Bahrain enforces tough new corruption laws
Manama, May 12, 2014
Bahrain has established tough new laws to stamp out corruption, deal with financial violations and protect public money, following directives issued by HRH Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa.
The scheme was approved as the Premier chaired the weekly Cabinet meeting in the presence of HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Premier, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
The move follows the Premier's directives to step up financial control and make sure allocated budgets are not exceeded, and planned projects are carried out.
The new system will feature pre- and post-assessment tools to scrutinise all financial transactions.
Unified procedures will be adopted to deal with suspected violations regardless of their seriousness - ranging from mere non-compliance with financial procedures to embezzlement and misuse of public money.
The control system will be enforced on all ministries, government departments, public establishments, municipalities, state-owned companies and parties with independent or attached budgets.
A probe committee chaired by the Finance Minister will be set up to investigate premeditated erroneous transactions and violations resulting from negligence.
Transactions under inquiry would be blocked and responsible employees lose their prerogatives pending investigation.
Procedures stipulated in the fifth chapter of the law on the National Audit Court shall apply.
In other Cabinet developments, relatives of officers who die in war operations in Bahrain or abroad may soon become entitled to pensions.
The ministers yesterday approved the amendment of the law on pension premiums for BDF and Public Security officers and affiliates and referred the proposed legislation to the legislative authority.
The amended law would also cover military or Public Security affiliates who die in clashes with the enemy or any armed or non-armed group or as a result of terror acts.
"Public money is protected whether prior to or during spending and it is not just the Financial Audit Bureau that monitors dealings, but also internal auditors inside each ministry, government-owned company and government body, individual directorates and others," said Minister of State for Information Affairs and official government spokesperson Sameera Rajab.
"This new system will address delicate matters and now gives the media a role in directing the government to any suspicious activity."
"The new measures give us the utmost precautionary measures when money is spent and Bahrain is not less than any developed country in monitoring spending."
The move follows major revelations made in the 2012 Financial Audit Bureau report, which listed a total of 462 violations in government bodies - with 25 already being referred to the Public Prosecution.
They included 13 violations at the Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Ministry, seven at Aluminium Bahrain (Alba) and one each at the Bahrain Flour Mills Company, the Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution (BCDR-AAA), Bapco, the Works Ministry and Housing Ministry. – TradeArabia News Service