DVB Multimedia Group

Corruption, nepotism cost Rangoon dearly, says auditor general

A construction site in Burma's rapidly developing former capital, Rangoon, in July 2014 (Photo: Feliz Solomon/DVB)

Corruption and nepotism has cost Rangoon Division millions of kyats, according to the regional auditor general’s report for the fiscal year 2015-16, which was still under the tenure of the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) administration.

In its report submitted to Rangoon’s regional assembly on 5 April, the auditor general highlighted the matter of awarding development and construction projects to firms without any requests for tender. In some cases, it said, concessions were awarded for 50 and even 90 years.

Speaking to DVB, Rangoon Division parliamentarian Kyi Pyar, who represents the now ruling National League for Democracy (NLD), said, “We have learned that there were conflicts of interest in several contracts that have cost the region a lot of money. We will need to discuss in parliament what to do about these losses.”

The report includes budgets for the local Engineering and Building Department; the Department of Markets; and the Department for Parks and Playgrounds. It also includes details of tender bidding for low-cost apartment buildings and high-rise construction projects in Rangoon and the outlying areas during that term.

MP Kyi Pyar said, “During our [NLD’s] term in office, we may not be able to make the impact and changes that many people want to see. But I believe we can prevent these kinds of losses.”

The Rangoon auditor general’s report did not cover the USDP’s administration between 2010 and 2014, nor did it include ongoing projects, only those that had been completed.