Group Asks Anti-Corruption Agency to Investigate Mon State Chief Minister

By Nyan Soe Win 20 June 2019

MAWLAMYINE—A group of residents and representatives of civil society organizations in Mon State have filed a complaint with the Myanmar Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) accusing the state’s chief minister of failing to comply with procedures for inviting tenders for a road construction project.

The group of nine people filed the complaint with the ACC on Tuesday.

“We filed a complaint not out of a personal grudge, but because we need to make the ACC hear the voices of the people, because we have seen things done without regard for the law or democratic values,” said Ye Township resident U Aung Naing Win, one of the complainants.

He said the complaint was prompted by answers given by Mon State Chief Minister Dr. Aye Zan, Construction and Municipal Minister U Min Kyaw Lwin, and then-Electricity and Energy Minister U Min Htin Aung Han to a question asked by state lawmaker U Aung Naing Oo during a parliamentary session in May.

According to the lawmaker, the Mon State government awarded a 1-billion-kyat (about US$656,000) road construction contract to a private company in 2018 without inviting tenders, which violates the procedures issued by the President’s Office in 2017.

“We filed a complaint because we think [the Mon State chief minister] violated the President Office’s instructions on tender procedures,” U Aung Naing Win told The Irrawaddy.

According to the President Office’s directives on the tender process, for projects that are estimated to cost 10 million kyats or more, local governments must form a tender selection committee to invite tenders and select the winner. The local government must then approve the winner.

In the case of the road construction project, the Mon State government awarded the contract without forming a tender selection committee or inviting bids, said Thanbyuzayat resident Ko Tun Myint Kyaw, one of the complainants.

An Irrawaddy reporter went to Dr. Aye Zan’s office to ask him about the complaint, but was not allowed to meet him.

When asked by The Irrawaddy whether the ACC had received the complaint against the Mon State chief minister, commission spokesperson U Kyaw Soe declined to answer, saying the ACC is only authorized to reply to requests for information on the status of complaints to the complainants themselves.

Residents also sent complaints against the Mon State chief minister to the offices of the President and the State Counselor.

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