The government has introduced new regulations specifying the procedures for doing business with those who have interests with a public servant, including classifying those who are not allowed to have business dealings due to interests with state employees.

According to the regulations gazetted by the Finance Ministry on Thursday, special permission, in writing, must be obtained before any business transaction with an employee’s associates is green-lit.

As per the new rules, those who have interests with employees at certain positions should not be allowed to conduct business with the state. Such employees include;

  • Chiefs of finance departments
  • Senior procurement employees
  • Members of Bid and Procurement Committees
  • Executives authorising procurement
  • Members who evaluate or assist in bids
  • Members of other committees related to bids and procurement
  • Financially Responsible Persons or Secretary Generals
  • Employees involved in the preparation of bid or tender documents

While the regulations now prohibit conducting business with those who have interest with such employees, permission may be obtained from the Ministry where there are extenuating circumstances. Extenuating circumstances shall be deemed as those specified in the new regulations.

The rules also set out the criteria for allowing business to be conducted. Should a transaction not exceed MVR 35,000, permission must be sought from an official who is deemed financially responsible. For transactions between MVR 35,000 and MVR 5 million, a bid committee must approve the bids. If a transaction exceeds MVR 5 million, the National Tender Board is required to give permission.

According to the regulations, a close relative or family member of the bidder will be considered a person who has interest with the employee.

Such family ties include:

  • Spouses
  • Children
  • Siblings
  • Half-siblings
  • Step-Children
  • Spouse’s half-siblings
  • Spouse’s siblings
  • Parents

The regulations also state that business cannot be conducted where an employee has a relationship, or interest, with a party on a permanent basis. Before permission is granted, procurement and other procedures must be properly vetted and the extent to which the office has done business with them in the past should also be considered.