Iraq's FCoI exposes $10 million financial mismanagement in Garraf oil field operations

Iraq's FCoI exposes $10 million financial mismanagement in Garraf oil field operations

Shafaq News/ The Iraqi Federal Commission of Integrity (FCoI) revealed financial mismanagement amounting to more than $10 million in the records of a foreign company operating in the Garraf oil field in Dhi Qar Governorate, southern Iraq.

The FCoI Media and Communication Office stated that a team from the Dhi Qar investigation office, in collaboration with the National Intelligence Agency, uncovered "manipulation in the monthly operation records of the Italian company operating in the Garraf oil field, as well as in the laboratory examination samples of the export ratio and targeted production quantities, resulting in a loss of more than $10 million of public funds."

The office also pointed out that the General Manager of the Dhi Qar Oil Company "committed violations and exploited his position by appointing five individuals from one family on contract and daily wage basis, with one of them receiving more than one piece of land contrary to the law."

Furthermore, the office identified a waste of 2,042,850,000 Iraqi dinars (about 1.6 million dollars), representing outstanding amounts owed by delayed companies to which the province referred projects.

In addition, the team found "irregularities in the disbursement of overtime payments to employees at the Nasiriyah Thermal Power Station for the years 2021, 2022, 2023, (279,107,750 dinars/ about $213 thousand) which were disbursed without providing work reports for previous periods when renewing the orders, and the failure to validate employee attendance in official records according to the Ministry of Finance's instructions and regulations."

It is noteworthy that financial corruption remains a significant challenge in Iraq, with Transparency International ranking the country 154 out of 180 in the 2023 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI).

The country also ranked fourth as the most corrupt in the Arab World after Syria, Yemen, Sudan, and Libya.

Various forms of corruption, including bribery, embezzlement, nepotism, and influence peddling, have a detrimental impact on the Iraqi economy, leading to a lack of basic services, increased poverty, and political instability.

Over the years, the pervasive corruption within the Iraqi state has resulted in the misappropriation of untold billions from its oil wealth.

After assuming his position, PM Al-Sudani pledged to "combat corruption" in government institutions; so far, many officials have been referred to the judiciary, but political and sectarian parties still protect many others.

This March, Al-Sudani issued three new initiatives to enhance anti-corruption efforts and internal audit work in government institutions as part of the government's strategy to fight and prevent corruption. His media office stated that the directives aim to address the threats that corruption poses to government institutions and the public services that the citizens receive, to improve the internal audit work in the government institutions, and integrate its role with the role of the Federal Board of Supreme Audit, the Federal Commission of Integrity, and the law enforcement agencies.

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