Will follow ACC instructions on Hajj group issue: Islamic Min

Will follow ACC instructions on Hajj group issue: Islamic Min

Ministry of Islamic Affairs on Tuesday assured that measures will be taken as per Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC)'s demands following the conclusion of the investigation currently being carried out by ACC.

The corruption watchdog is investigating the ministry for alleged corruption in authorising companies to take pilgrims on Hajj this year.

The Islamic Ministry earlier announced its decision to authorise six companies to take pilgrims on Hajj to Saudi Arabia. However, Sisilfaru Hajj & Umrah Group raised issues with the ministry's process in picking the companies, and filed the case at the ACC.

Regarding the issue, the graft watchdog noted last week that although the ministry had rejected some proposals which lacked the necessary documents as per policy, the ministry had not done so in the case of two proposals which were forwarded to the evaluation stage.

ACC further highlighted that the evaluation committee had granted higher points to their preferred proposals, despite the publicised points system, thus indicating bias.

In response to local media Mihaaru's inquiry on possibly re-opening submissions to pick Hajj groups again, Deputy Minister of Islamic Affairs Shafiu Ali stated that ACC's investigation was still ongoing, noting that the commission notified the ministry that they were probing into any suspicious acts.

"If there is a problem we will fix it. We will take measures when ACC provides the details", he said.

Prior to this, ACC had informed the ministry of the likelihood of corruption due to the current Hajj regulations. Moreover, they also advised amending the regulations to prevent any acts of corruption.

In the report, the commission stated that the ministry acted in contradiction with the information provided in the pre-bid meeting, in evaluating the proposals.

ACC also stated that there was a chance of bias towards some companies as the committee was given the choice to determine the marks that different parts of the evaluation would carry.