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Over 900 ex-govt staff still have official power after being fired – Saudi anti-corruption body

Over 900 ex-govt staff still have official power after being fired – Saudi anti-corruption body

Serious violations were discovered by Nazaha in a number of government departments

Several former government employees in Saudi Arabia’s Taif region continue to wield official authority despite being dismissed from their jobs, according to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (Nazaha).

Serious violations were discovered by Nazaha in a number of government departments, with some former employees also receiving regular salaries after being dismissed from service, local daily Saudi Gazette reported.

While 163 former employees in various government departments were being paid their monthly salaries though they were no longer in the service, up to 931 ex-staff continued to enjoy their official powers though they were sacked from their jobs, the report claimed.

Violations discovered also included appointing employees who were above 65 years of age, paying transport allowance to employees who have official cars and issuing business class tickets to “undeserving” staff.

While a number of government employees who were sent abroad for higher studies under the scholarship programme were still being paid their salaries, 115 who were on leave without pay were still on the payrolls of their departments.

Nazaha, which used electronic surveillance for several months to uncover the cases, said that the violations were mainly committed due to negligence, carelessness and disregard for regulations, causing a huge loss to the government.

Saudi Arabia has been cracking down on corruption with the Nazaha president confirming this month that the agency received more than 14,000 corruption notifications in 2018.

Also read: Saudi’s King Salman orders creation of departments to combat corruption

In July, Saudi arrested a defence ministry official on charges of receiving a SAR1m ($267,000) bribe and abusing his position.

Last November, hundreds of top businessmen and royals were also detained and held for months at the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton Hotel in a sweeping anti-corruption investigation in the kingdom.

The move was spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who told a US newspaper in February that the purge was like chemotherapy of “the cancer of corruption”.

Read more: Saudi’s corruption purge needed to support budget – Crown Prince

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