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Thu 5 Nov 2009 08:03 AM

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Audit report exposes faults in major Bahrain firms

Mumtalakat and Gulf Air are criticised in National Audit Court annual report.

A National Audit Court (NAC) report for Bahrain in 2008 has highlighted serious irregularities at government departments and state-owned companies, it was reported on Thursday.

The study, which was presented by NAC president Hassan Khalifa Al Jalahma to parliament chairman Khalifa Al Dhahrani, raised issues regarding some of the Gulf state's leading companies including sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat Holding Company and airline Gulf Air, Gulf Daily News reported.

The annual report includes the court's observations on the consolidated balance sheet for the kingdom and the final accounts for ministries and government bodies for the fiscal year which ended on December 31, 2008.

It questions why BD30.5 million of expenses were not included in the balance sheet and why certain ministries exceeded their allocated budgets.

It also exposes the absence of a documented, comprehensive guidebook for Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company covering financial procedures and absence of an independent risk management section.

The report revealed that Gulf Air lost a BD32m deal regarding the sale of aircraft while a total of 661 flights were cancelled due to technical defects and more than 11,000 flights were delayed last year.

The NAC study also said that the country's Labour Market Regulatory Authority had no clear plan to sort the cases of 36,000 illegal expat workers.

It blamed poor supervision within the Electricity and Water Authority for the accumulation of arrears amounting to BD90m while the likes of Bahrain Radio and Television Corporation, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority and Batelco also come in for criticism.

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