The audit report of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has revealed that Maldivian embassies in four countries have either made unlawful expenses, or not received the full amount of funds owed.
Signed and released by Auditor General Hassan Ziyath last week, the audit report state that the foreign ministry and Maldivian embassies in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Trivandrum, India spent MVR 1.9 million without authorization between 2014 to 2017.
The embassies in Bangladesh and the United Arab Emirates, and the Trivandrum consulate also spent more than MVR 1 million in violation of the Public Finance Act.
The report highlights the issue of missing revenue as well. MVR 86,000 and MVR 300,000 from the Trivandrum consulate and the embassy in Bangladesh respectively, remain unaccounted for.
In addition, both of these embassies are also reported to have accorded employees unauthorized allowances. The Trivandrum consulate spent more than MVR 200,000 in utility allowances while the embassy of Bangladesh spent over MVR 5,000 on phone allowances.
It has also been reported that an employee of the Trivandrum consulate withdrew MVR 24,000 from the consulate’s funds for personal use. The money was returned to the account in late 2017.
The report also highlights that there is no verification that the MVR 53 million allocated as the foreign ministry's assets was indeed the designated amount.
The Auditor General called for the recovery of all unlawfully spent funds and for the missing revenue to be accounted for. Ziyath also called for actions to be taken against those responsible for these violations.