Jun 24 2012
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Graft probe ordered into mired industrial city project
The commission in its report cited negligence on the part of Al-Kharj municipality as well as the contractor who won the bidding to implement the project.
The anti-graft body asked the ministry to determine the responsibility and take penal measures. It has also asked the ministry to clarify ctions taken against the contractor after he was issued a final warning more than a year ago.
The commission said it had been following media reports about the project's failure and complaints lodged by workshop owners against the contractor and the municipality.
The project was offered for public bidding in 2000 and the site was handed over to the successful bidder in 2001. However, work on the project was disrupted a number of times. In 2006, the investor conceded that he was unable to meet his contractual obligations and handed over the project to another contractor, who also failed to execute the project as required by the contract.
Investigations showed that Al-Kharj municipality was negligent in following up the project or the investor throughout the period of the contract. The municipality also ignored a canal on the western side of the city that had been turned into a waste dump.
The commission found that cracks had appeared in workshops in the area posing a potential threat to the lives and safety of workers.
Citing the findings of its inquiry, the commission asked the ministry to immediately launch its own investigation into the case and enforce the law against whoever was responsible. It has also advised the ministry to seek explanation from the municipality about actions taken against the contractor after he was issued the final notice.
The Council of Ministers has given a tough mandate to the Anti-Corruption Commission to uphold transparency in financial and administrative matters and combat fraud in government transcations. It has also promised financial and moral incentives to the commission's employees and other civil servants to expose wrongdoing.
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