There is no real financial supervision on ministry of interior: Egypt's top auditor

Ahram Online , Tuesday 18 Mar 2014

Head of Central Auditing Organization says that auditors no longer have access to the financial records of the interior ministry and the Judges Club

Head of Egypt's Central Auditing Agency Hisham Geneina (Photo: Ahram)

Head of Central Auditing Organization (CAO) Hisham Geneina said that there is no real financial supervision of the interior ministry and that CAO auditors were mistreated upon attempting to complete inspection at the ministry.

“The Ministry of Interior mistreated CAO auditors in a very bad way when they went to inspect the ministry’s financial matters, one of the auditors was personally searched in a humiliating way,” Hisham Geneina told Al Shorouk newspaper on Tuesday, in a long two part interview.

The Head of CAO also revealed that the CAO auditors and officials were not given access to the financial records and files of the ministry.

“There are many financial violations in the Ministry of Interior including of its state security investigations in the state land case in Sheikh Ziyad (the green belt case) where they built residential units against the law.” Geneina gave an example of other financial violations, hinting that the most financially corrupt sector in the ministry was the general security sector.

Another example given by the head of the Central Auditing Organization was the discovery of a LE75,000 check to a conscript without any files or records within the ministry.

“When the auditors investigated more we found out that the conscript is now working in the correspondence office of the interior ministry,” Geneina revealed, adding that the auditors and officials are no longer permitted to inspect the financial records.

“We cannot continue our work there anymore,” said Geneina.

The CAO is a governmental body that supervises public finances. It has consistently been accused of covering up financial crimes carried out by the regime of former president Hosni Mubarak.

Geneina caused controversy last February when he revealed financial violations in top sovereign bodies, including the presidency, judicial and state security authorities at a press conference.

Providing no specific dates for the financial violations, Geneina asserted that the state security body has perpetrated financial irregularities worth LE2.5 billion, while the judicial authority’s portion of the violations have been estimated at LE3 billion.

“Constitutional article No.217 states clearly that supervisory reports should be published to the people. Furthermore, all our work is done in accordance to the international transparency and counter-corruption agreements that the government has signed,” Geneina told Al Shorouk newspaper at the time.

Geneina revealed that top officials in the CAO warned him that such a press conference would bring him trouble because state bodies were not accustomed to the culture of transparency and supervision. “I told them of after two revolutions in Egypt, this culture of fear of exposing corruption should be ended” he said.

The head of Egyptian Judges Club, Ahmed El Zend had accused Geneina of insulting the judiciary as well as corruption in claiming that he appropriated state-owned land without payment.

“This is ridiculous, how would I expose corruption and misappropriation of state-owned land without payment while also being part of that corruption?” Geneina wondered in the interview.

“The CAO was allowed to supervise the Judges Club during the time of reformist judge Zakaria Abdel Aziz, now we are not allowed to supervise it or inspect its files” Geneina revealed, adding that he spoke with the High Council of the Judiciary regarding this matter.

Geneina has already been reported to the general prosecutor for insulting the judiciary and in early February he was referred to criminal court along with two journalists for libeling the minister of justice.

He was also referred to court for similar charges last November along with two other journalists for libeling the Egyptian Judges' Club.

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