The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has uncovered discrepancies in the allocation of flats under the previous government’s ‘Gedhoruveriya’ housing scheme. The ACC’s investigation has revealed that points were manually added during the approval stage, despite claims of an automated point generation system.

The ACC disclosed these findings during a session with the Parliament’s independent institutions committee, where they addressed concerns raised in 325 complaints received after the initial list of flat recipients was published. In response to these complaints, the commission instructed the Ministry to implement changes to rectify the issues.

However, the proposed changes were not adequately reflected in the final list, according to the ACC. They pointed out that even though marks were supposed to be generated automatically based on submitted information, there was evidence of tampering with the scores by individuals involved in the approval process.

ACC Vice President Abdul Salam stated that, in some instances, applicants who were initially deemed ineligible had their points manipulated to meet the approval criteria. He cited an example where an applicant declared having no children, and the Department of National Registration confirmed this information. Still, marks were awarded on the basis of having children, suggesting alterations within the portal.

The ACC also uncovered cases where applicants residing outside of Malé were wrongly considered residents of the capital city and awarded flats. The investigation revealed that only one or two officials were responsible for approving applications, and these individuals are now suspected of misconduct and abuse of authority.

In response to the ACC’s findings, former State Minister for National Planning, Housing, and Infrastructure, Akram Kamaluddeen, who chaired the committee on land plots and flats, denied the allegations. 

Akram argued that the ACC’s claims were politically motivated and explained that applicants could be eligible for flats even if they worked outside Male’, provided their spouse and children resided in the capital. However, this contradicted the published criteria for the Gedhoruveriya Housing Scheme, which clearly stipulates a minimum of fifteen consecutive years of residency in Male’.

Akram further criticised the ACC for publicising their comments without conducting a comprehensive investigation, calling into question the validity of their allegations. He clarified the application process, explaining that there is no separate scoring system and verification system, and that the verifier cross-references information provided on the form to make decisions.

The ACC’s decision to halt the issuance of flats due to these issues has raised concerns about the integrity of the housing scheme. The investigation team confirmed that the problems had not been rectified before the ministry published the permanent list of flat recipients, prompting the ACC’s intervention and the order to suspend further flat allocations.