DJA Audit: several issues in contradiction to Public Finance Act

A report issued by the Auditor General's Office has revealed that several actions that contradict the Public Finance Act were carried out by the Department of Judicial Administration (DJA) and the courts of Maldives.

The audit report issued in 2016 identified 15 acts that were carried out by the judicial sector that were not in line with the Public Finance Act.

The report said that auditors had not been able to determine if the expense of MVR 19,396,321 incurred by DJA in 2016 was in line with the Public Finance Act as DJA had not provided supporting documents for the expenditure despite multiple requests.

The report also identified that the Supreme Court had handed over the installation of electric jacks on Theemuge gates to a private party for MVR 488,321 against the Public Finance Act. The Supreme Court had also handed over maintenance work worth MVR 49,714 without publicly announcing the project, and instead handed over the work based on quotations.

The report further revealed that the Supreme Court and High Court spent MVR 241,857 on some projects without making an agreement with the contracted parties. Furthermore, the High Court had not deducted MVR 9221 incurred for project completion delays from the payment issued to a company for a project.

While some magistrate courts procured goods and services worth MVR 185,654 in 2016, there are no receipts or supporting documents for the purchases, said the report. It further said while an expense of MVR 513,794 was incurred by DJA as travel expenses in 2016, no travel reports were submitted.

The audit report further identified that MVR 44,819 received by magistrate courts in 2016 were not deposited into the public bank account even by the end of the year. While MVR 97,515 received by some courts in 2015 and 2016 were not deposited into the bank accounts of the courts, MVR 169,908 that should have been received as revenue was not received, said the report. It further noted that the details of the funds were not shared with the Finance Ministry.

The report also identified the courts' failure to keep records of their assets, finances and inventory, and gave recommendations on addressing identified issues.