Muscat: Employees of Muscat Municipality have a month to give up any personal contracts they have with any company, a circular by Muscat Municipality stated.
The circular, issued on the authority of Mohsin bin Mohammed Al Sheikh, Chairman of Muscat Municipality and published on the Arabic Twitter account of Zaajel News on Sunday, stated that any employee who fails to give up his interests in any company within a month’s time will be referred to the Public Prosecution, as this is considered a crime in the law protecting public funds and avoiding conflicts of interest.
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An official of Muscat Municipality told the Times of Oman that the circular is part of efforts to fight corruption. “This is part of the government’s efforts to fight corruption. The decision is clear in stating that every employee must cancel such contracts, so that there will be no conflicts of interest,” he said.
He said failing to give up interests in companies is against the law. “Those who do so will be referred to a specialised unit in the Public Prosecution [Public Funds Affairs],” he said. The official said that the order from Muscat Municipality is based on a Royal Decree, which covers the entire government and which forbids all government employees to act as a mediator or representative of a company which activities coincide with the work of the employee.
The circular further referred to the law saying it is forbidden for any government staff to act as a mediator between the government and a company, which includes offering help to companies in getting licences or permits.
The law also forbids a government employee to have shares in a company or work for the sake of making profit if it is directly connected with his work in the government.
When asked how many employees at Muscat Municipality are known to have stakes in a company, the official said that this is “not known”.