The supply ministry topped the list of corrupted ministries for a third month in a row, according to the monthly corruption report issued Sunday by NGO Partners for Transparency (PFORT).
PFORT reported a total of 60 corruption cases in October 2015, mentioned in the media or by the concerned investigative bodies, of which the supply ministry’s share was 14.
“Obviously, there is a major problem with the system of subsidised goods, because all the violations traced at the supply ministry are related to those kinds of supplies, whether gas, petroleum or food,” PFORT Director Walaa Gad told Daily News Egypt.
Among the reported incidents, PFORT said 39 were under investigation, 10 cases are in the trial phase, four cases received court verdicts and seven cases are pending action.
Cases include bribes received in exchange for licenses, stolen goods to be sold in black markets, embezzlements and waste of public funds.
Another troubled ministry is that of local development, run by Minister Ahmed Zaki Badr, which has also ranked high in terms of corruption cases. “Let me confirm to you a million times that this is a direct cause of the current floods crisis,” Gad commented.
On one hand, Gad mentioned unlicensed construction, which in his opinion requires a corrupt local administration to allow buildings to be put together and to turn a “blind eye” to the entire process for months.
Building collapses are common recurrences in Egypt and have increased in the past week, such as in Alexandria, with the recent floods crisis.
The second issue is that bribes usually take over during the handing of projects to the government by contractors to ignore technical problems.
Following public and media attacks when the floods began last month in Alexandria, governor Hany El-Messairy submitted his resignation to the cabinet on 25 October. Even though he was mostly accused of being “laid back”, Gad believes that executive employees are much more powerful than governors.
“We are talking about 3.5 million employees, half of the government’s employees in total, who work in local administration and the local development ministry, with no monitoring whatsoever and no real role for local municipalities,” Gad stated.
PFORT’s report concludes that, despite public statements by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and other officials regarding fighting corruption, the existing state mechanisms are insufficient.
Meanwhile, the Administrative Prosecution authority (AP) continues to mobilise cases based on media reports, mainly in hospitals. On Saturday, AP said in a press statement that the authority was currently looking into opening investigations into a waste of public funds caused by the Health Ministry at EGP 19m.
According to a story published in Al-Watan newspaper on 3 November, the ministry had imported nearly 1,908,000 H1N1 vaccine dosages at EGP 30.5 each back in 2010, but the ministry stored it and left it until 64,000 dosages expired, resulting in the waste of money.