A fact-finding committee formed by Egypt’s presidency has concluded that statements made in December by Hisham Geneina, head of the Central Auditing Organization, that said government corruption cost the country LE600 billion in 2015 were “exaggerated” and “delusional”.
A spokesperson for the CAO had later corrected Geneina’s remarks, saying that the amount was rather for the period between 2012 and 2015, and not in 2015 alone.
The uproar caused by Geneina’s statements and consequent confusion on the numbers prompted the presidency to form a panel in the same month to probe the allegations.
Releasing its report on Tuesday, the panel said Geneina’s remarks “lacked credibility” and were “exaggerated” and “delusional”. It accused Geneina of “intentional disregard (of facts)” and “abuse of numbers”.
The panel, which is comprised of representatives from the finance, justice and interior ministries, as well as Geneina’s deputy, said it contacted Geneina in late December to inquire about his statements. The CAO director, according to the panel, replied that the numbers he had mentioned were the result of works by a technical panel he had formed from the organization’s employees.
But the panel said it has found that some of the amounts related to the alleged corruption were categorized under multiple categories and therefore calculated more than once.
“Some incidents were intentionally arranged and enlisted though they had take place tens of years earlier,” the panel’s statement said, adding that Geneina’s document “maliciously” showed those incidents as ongoing.
Geneina’s report mixed both instances of corruption addressed by the government with others that were not.
The panel wondered about Geneina’s motivations behind his statements, adding that it is “noteworthy” that the corruption document was “prepared in cooperation with foreign bodies".