The government of the Maldives has introduced an unsolicited proposals policy; the new policy was published in the government Gazette on Monday.
According to the President’s Office, proposals which align with the government’s pledges and its development agenda will be considered and assessed using the framework outlined in the UPS Policy.
The President’s Office stated that the government wanted to encourage private businesses to propose ideas that will help to deliver public services and promote private sector participation in the country’s development.
Some lawmakers criticized the new policy. MP Ahmed “Redwave” Saleem claimed that this policy allows the government to hand over projects to party loyalists without a formal bidding process.
Mr. Saleem said that this will lead to further corruption and embezzlement.
Former President Yameen’s administration had a similar policy on resort development projects. Interested parties could forward proposals and a cabinet committee was tasked with evaluating the proposals.
At the time, many senior figures of the current administration, including the current President Ibrahim Mohammed Solih; then an MP; criticized the policy saying that it will lead to corruption. President Solih and former President Nasheed on various occasions accused President Yameen’s government of ‘selling’ lagoons and islands of the Maldives after he introduced this policy. In fact, one of the main campaign pledges of President Solih was to “stop selling islands to foreigners”.
Mr. Saleem also noted that this was unacceptable coming from a group of individuals who accused former administrations of being corrupt.