MMC members received almost Rf 1 million in illegal “living allowances”, finds Auditor General

Members of the Maldives Media Council (MMC) have been illegally receiving a living allowance of Rf 7500 (US$500) in addition to their monthly salaries, according to an audit report for the year prepared by the Auditor General’s office.

The Auditor General’s report noted that the article 19[a] of MMC Act states that salaries of Council’s Chair, Vice Chair and members shall be determined by the parliament, and that the salary for the council member determined by the parliament on January 2011 was Rf 8000 (US$533) for the Chair of the Council, Rf 6500 (US$433) for the Vice Chair, and Rf 5000 (US$333) for each council member.

The report observed that council members started receiving the allowance on January 20, 2011, after the Chair of the Council sent a signed memo to the council’s corporate affairs unit.

The Auditor General at the time was aware of the matter and forwarded the case to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and on February 17, 2011, the ACC sent a letter to the council asking it to stop claiming the allowance until the ACC concluded the case.

‘’On February 20, the council members held their 7th meeting of the year and in the meeting all members voted that there was no reason why the council should follow instructions as in the letter sent by the ACC,’’ the audit report noted.

On April 20 council members decided not to receive the allowance, after they were asked by ACC to discontinue a second time. The MMC then sent letters to council members asking them to return the amounts they had received as living allowances – by now a total of almost a million rufiya, in addition to their salaries.

According to the Auditor General’s report, the council members did not receive the living allowance for six months from May to August. However a lump sum for six months worth of the living allowance sum was included in council members’ salaries for August – a total of Rf 45,000 (US$2900) for each council member.

The report also stated that by the end of August the council had spent a total Rf9 00000 (US$60,000) on paying members living allowances.

The Auditor General’s report stated that the living allowance was an illegal expense, despite parliament approving the MMC’s budget including the allowance, and noted that the MMC had behaved inappropriately for an institution that was required by nature to have the trust and confidence of the public.

Chair of the MMC Mohamed Nazeef told Minivan News that the issue “had been solved”, and that “some” of the council members had now returned the money they received as living allowances.


12 thoughts on “MMC members received almost Rf 1 million in illegal “living allowances”, finds Auditor General”

  1. Let's check the members who have not returned the money and put life size pictures of them for everyone to see.

    Seven Members from the public:
    1. Fathimath Ishan Ali - G. Aina Adams
    2. Ahmed Abdulla - H. Romania
    3. Mohamed Asim Abdul - Hadhi Ma. Kekuri
    4. Ali Waheed Hassan Manik - Ma. Silver Scene
    5. Anas Abdul Sathaar - M.Badikulhumaage
    6. Ahmed Faisal - H. Crest
    7. Mohamed Fareedh - M. Mohamedy Abaadh

    Eight Members from the Media:
    1. Saif Azhar from Haama News
    2. Mohamed Nazeef from Radio Atoll
    3. Mohamed Muhsin from Television Maldives
    4. Shiham Mohamed Waheed from VTV
    5. Mohamed Haleem from Sungadi
    6. Ahmed Abdulla Saeed from Haveeru News
    7. Ismail Rasheed from Aaila Majala
    8. Masoodh Hilmy from Dhi FM

  2. It is only recently that we had a similar event in the UK,with several MP's being given prison sentences even though they re-payed the money...

  3. This is a criminal act, what the bat shit.

    These people should be tried in the biased courts of law we have, and what ??

    Oh guano

  4. if a gang of thieves secretly stole money from a shop, or like the recent case of fraud where a group stole 700,000 from the banks, the public reaction would be very different. the media's reaction would also be very different. but this group also stole close to a million rufiaa of our money but it took a reader to even point out their names here.

    i can't see them as anything but thieves but maybe minivan or the rest of the media don't see it that way. their names and photos should be displayed on every newspaper....they should be publicly humiliated and punished for the theft they committed.

  5. My god! Anas Abdul Sattar?
    Fathimath Ishan Ali?

    These flag bearers of justice? These incorruptible souls? ROFL!

    This folks is where we all end up if we open our big mouths and run around claiming to be what we are not.

    The fruit is only sour when it hangs beyond our reach 😛

  6. nobody cares about audit reports. ACC is handicapped. this is just few millions but we have more than a few millions of grand corruption cases the ACC should investigate. rock on!

  7. RadiO Atoll Nazeef only broadcast programmes about HALAAL and HARAAM. Finally he ended up making something HARAAM and HALAAL.

    NAZEEF, now you resign with the stupid radio atoll.

  8. O dear, again something that would add to help the Corruption Index of Transparency Maldives fall lower for the Maldives.

    Before pointing fingers at the government, please remember Media Council is an independent body for which the parliament has decided the salary and whatever benefits for those people.

  9. New Auditor General wet behind the ears. Needs more experience. Maybe he should not pubish reports until he reaches maturity.

  10. This media commission needs to be dissolved immediately also because there's the broadcast commission. unauthorized and abuse of media council's funds reflects greed of the members.

  11. HALF the story is more dangerous than no story.

    The Allowance was passed on 29th dec 2010 by the People's Majlis of Maldives with the Budget. The money is in 2010 budget(unlike people's Majlis members allowance)

    Broadcasting Commission is a Majlis controlled institution. Like all other independent institutions it fails political independence.

    It's world wide accepted that media needs to be self regulated not regulated by the state, majlis or executive.


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