PSM corruption case resubmitted to PG

PSM main office in Male’ | Photo: PSM

Male’, Maldives – Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) has resubmitted the case of Public Service Media (PSM) paying rent for two floors of an unfinished building to start the Maldives Media Institute (MMI) to Prosecutor General’s Office (PG) .

Maldives Media Institute (MMI), the higher training institute registered as a subsidiary company of Public Service Media is aimed to create the required talent pool for the Maldivian media industry.

PSM’s former Director of Procurement Mohamed Hashim is to be prosecuted for the unlawful rent payments. Under the Constitution of the Republic of Maldives, he is to be prosecuted for misuse of power as a government official and for making a decision the benefits oneself or a party that should not receive such a benefit.

Investigations on this matter was completed by ACC in November 2016 and the case was sent the previous PG office twice to be tried at court.

The investigation states that PSM was required by law to establish a training institute and for this purpose, they announced a tender, which received three bids. After evaluation of these three bids the first and second floors of H.Jojedvilla were decided to be rented by the evaluation committee.

However, architectural plans provided with the bid did not include clear floor plans, thus the evaluation committee asked the department that requested to rent the building and a media institute representative to supervise the building and ensure that it met with the PSM requirements and to inform the procurement department if it was up to standard.

The ACC investigation also revealed that an agreement was signed stating that rent of two floors at H.Jojedvilla was to be leased for MVR 37,000 monthly, which was signed before the Ministry of National Planning, Housing & Infrastructure allowed the building to be used.

Records show that two PSM officials went to the building for an evaluation as the evaluation committee requested and a memo stating that the building owner had completed all necessary works related to the building was signed by former Director of the procurement department Mohamed Hashim, was sent to the Administration Department.

Using this memo as reference for payment vouchers, MVR 110,000 was paid by PSM as rent for December 2015 and January 2016. PSM went on to pay another MVR 74,000 between February 2016 and June 2016 in rent for the unfinished building.