Forcing an Iraqi bank to pay $600m to a company sparks widespread controversy and suspicions of corruption | News

The Iraqi court ordered the Rafidain state bank to pay $600 million to the “Ishtar Gateway” company for electronic payment systems and services, as a penalty for not implementing a previous contract between the two parties. The case sparked widespread controversy and uproar in Iraq, prompting the Supreme Court Council, the Integrity Commission and the Ministry of Finance to intervene.

Al-Rafidain Bank issued an explanation to the public regarding the court’s decision to pay a fine to the Ishtar Gate Company, noting that “the contract concluded with the Ishtar Gate Company on 3/04/ 2021 by the former general manager of the bank before obtaining the Ministry’s approval according to the rules on The contract formula, since the contract violated many of the previous technical conditions that the Ministry specified for the bidders.

Al-Rafidain Bank indicated that “after the contract was presented to the ministry and its commercial aspects were reviewed, which gives the bidder unjustified benefits and profits at the expense of the bank’s customers, and when the ministry of the conclusion of the contract informed. , the minister ordered that the contract be re-audited in the interest of the ministry on 3/9/2021 or cancel it. If necessary, the contract should not be signed except with the approval of the legal department and the department of information technology in the ministry and in accordance with the previous instructions.

He added, “The matter has been referred for investigation with the withdrawal of the hand of the then former director general of the bank, with the file referred to the Integrity Commission to take legal action against the negligent,” noting that “the company turned to the court to request the termination of the contract and compensation following the Ministry’s decision-making procedures, and the competent court issued its decision to annul the contract.” The contract with the obligation of the bank to the amount of compensation.

The Integrity Commission, for its part, issued an explanatory statement in which it says, “there is an investigation case filed on the third of last June before the judge specialized in integrity issues, regarding the contract concluded for the issuance of electronic payment cards is. between Al-Rafidain Bank and the Ishtar Electronic Payment Gateway Company.”

The integrity statement indicated that “the case received by a member of the House of Representatives (the Parliamentary Integrity Committee) is linked to one of the cases it previously investigated, for their participation in the issue of breaches in the contract between the bank and the company.”

President of the Supreme Court Council Faiq Zaidan (right) during his meeting with Ali Allawi, Minister of Finance, where they discussed legal problems in contracts with companies in the private sector (Iraqi press).

In the context, the president of the Supreme Court Council, Faiq Zaidan, received Finance Minister Ali Abdel Amir Allawi, and according to a statement from the Judicial Council, Zaidan discussed with Allawi, “the legal problems related to contracts with the private sector companies and the role of the judiciary in correcting the errors raised regarding those contracts and cooperation in order to preserve public money.

The case of the Rafidain Bank and the Ishtar Gate Company, and the penalty clause between them, has sparked widespread controversy on social media platforms in Iraq, amid calls to preserve public money and hold accountable those involved in its waste keep.

A member of the House of Representatives, Hussein Arab, said through his Twitter account “600 million dollars in compensation that the Rafidain Bank will pay to one of the private companies, whose capital can be one million of the above figure be.” so, we promise to defend the money of citizens and the state.”

The former Minister of Construction and Housing, “Twee Rikani Banke,” wrote on his Twitter account, “The Rafidain Bank contract and its penalty clause amounted to 600 million dollars, the electricity was almost completely extinguished, and the gasoline was scarce. “.

Rikani added that “a comprehensive restructuring by professionals, otherwise more collapse.”

“The Iraqi state will not succeed in continuing the socialist legacy and the government’s dominance over the operational sectors that finance political quotas and legitimize corruption and mismanagement,” said Louay al-Khatib, former Minister of Electricity, on his Twitter account said.

Al-Khatib added: “All sectors must be privatized according to international standards, and the sober private sector and international companies must be approved for construction. The government’s duty is only administrative/regulatory and tax collection.”

Politician Qusai Mahbouba asked on his Twitter account: “Shocked by $600 million?” He added, “This amount is withdrawn every month in the Ministry of Oil and from various parts of the ministry. Theft in public money amounts to 5 billion dollars annually, and the waste of public money reaches 10 billion dollars, that is between theft and waste 15 billion dollars are lost annually from the people’s money. Iraqi”.

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