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ACC investigation will only be complete when all flat application forms are reviewed: Akram

Mariyath Mohamed
19 February 2024, MVT 17:16
Mariyath Mohamed
19 February 2024, MVT 17:16

Former State Minister of the Housing Ministry Akram Kamaludeen has opined today that the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC)'s investigation into the allocation of flats under the Gedhoruveriya housing scheme can only be considered complete after they review all application forms submitted seeking flats.

Akram made this claim in today's parliament meeting of the National Development and Heritage Committee and the Independent Institutions Committee, to which he was summoned, along with the rest of the members of the previous government's flat committee, representatives of ACC, as well as representatives of the Ministry of Housing, Land and Urban Development.

The committees are looking into the ACC's findings on conclusion of their investigations into the flat allocations of the 400 Fahi Dhirulhun Corparation (FDC) that nearly 60 percent of flat recipients included on the finalized list are, in fact, ineligible.

Akram said that if the the criteria used by ACC to classify recipients of the 4000 flats into the eligible and non-eligible lists is considered, then all the forms submitted under this scheme will need to be similarly reviewed.

"It is not even just these 4000 that has be taken into consideration if it is going to be categorized in this method. As I see it, the entire thing [all the applications] need to be reviewd," he told the committees.

As per the information released during today's committee meeting, ACC has categorized the list of ineligible recipients into 12 sections:

1. No documents proving 15 years of residence in Male' were submitted

2. Information on the council letter indicating 15 years of residence in Male' contradicting with information on the Gedhoruveriya portal's integrated database

3. Information on letters granted by Male' households and companies contradicting with information on the Gedhoruveriya portal's integrated database

4. Sufficient documentation to prove 15 years of uninterrupted residence in Male' not having been submitted

5. Main applicant or co-applicant having previously received social housing

6. Submitting only a council letter to prove 15 years of residence in Male'

7. Submitting only Male' household letters to prove 15 years of residence in Male'

8. Having submitted documentation stating uninterrupted residence of 15 years in Male' despite working in resorts

9. Individuals who went abroad for studies not excluding that period when counting 15 years of uninterrupted residence in Male'

10. Submission of company letters claiming employment dates from before the establishment of the company itself

11. Monthly income exceeding MVR 60,000

12. Forms where, although the criteria was met, other issues were noted

Akram said that if the flats had been wrongfully allocated, then the government must take action against those who had wrongly allocated the flats, but the recipients announced by the previous government must be handed over the flats at the earliest.

"This work that ACC has done is good, that they have done this work. But I don't think they are going about this the right way. A proper audit must be conducted. Such a big allegation must not be made against anyone without conducting a proper audit as such, summoning both parties and questioning them, whether it is a criminal investigation or not," Akram said.

Akram maintains that it is not responsible on the part of ACC to release such a strong report without first concluding a proper and complete investigation. He also stated that the current administration must respect the decisions made by the former government.

"I am saying this confidently, there will be no wrongdoing involved. There will be no instances where people have been given anything even in exchange for money, or sold a chair," he declared.

ACC, after running an investigation that lasted approximately tow months, reported that 59.6 percent of the 4000 flat recipients were ineligible. They found a further 19.7 percent who met the criteria, but had other concerning issues arising about their applications, like information contradiction. Only 20.7 percent forms were eligible without any issues.

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