Iraq's Integrity Commission reveals details of a $2-billion waste in Dhi Qar

Iraq's Integrity Commission reveals details of a $2-billion waste in Dhi Qar

Shafaq News / On Friday, the Iraqi Commission of Integrity announced that it had conducted operations uncovering the "misappropriation" of over three billion dinars intended for the Agriculture Directorate in Dhi Qar and the Agricultural Equipment Company in the governorate.

The government's Media and Communication Office stated, "The investigative team in Dhi Qar, tasked with overseeing the Agriculture Directorate, identified waste totaling 1,935,719,494 billion dinars (about $1.5 million). This waste stemmed from the Directorate's failure to collect outstanding debts owed by farmers for agricultural lease allowances in previous years and their noncompliance with legal collection procedures."

The office further revealed the Agricultural Equipment Company's “negligence in monitoring modern irrigation systems provided to farmers, the lack of oversight on their operational functionality, and the failure to collect payments totaling 1,202,012,969 billion dinars from farmers.” It noted that the team seized original invoices related to equipment provision alongside these systems.”

Additionally, “original invoices for machinery and equipment received from the General Company for Agricultural Equipment were seized based on transactions involving fraudulent agents without the knowledge of agricultural contract owners in 2018. This operation was conducted in collusion with the former branch manager, resulting in the mismanagement of public funds.”

In a related development, the team, in collaboration with the National Intelligence Service, intercepted 32 transactions for the provision of harvesters by the General Company for Agricultural Equipment. It was noted that the parties involved in these transactions had outstanding government debts that remained unsettled.

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.

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

Shafaq Live
Shafaq Live
Radio radio icon