By Jumana Ghunaimat

What Ticked The Public This Time?!

This isn’t the first time the Audit Bureau issues their “annual” report, obviously. And every years, reporters at “Al Ghad” have relentlessly seek the details of the report to cover every sector, by summarising cited violations in their material.

This year, however, the public’s reaction to it was noticeably different. The report, to begin with, is a positive indicator to the fact that we still have a monitory body charged with citing all violations; big and small, with its officials, experts, and employees persistent on the implementation of law and regulation, unaffected by the many other institutions whose officials and employees seem careless to the rule of law as well as to their spending of public funds.

On the other hand, the negative thing about the report, or rather in it, is that it has cited and noted violations over the years, many of which are migrated from one year’s report to the next, with the respective bodies utterly dismissive of the Bureau’s reports. This means that the many respective officials take the Bureau lightly, the report too, and see no need to rectify violation or misconduct.

The Audit’s Bureau’s reports reflect, in the end, not only the worsening administrative situation in the public sector, but also reflective of the mind set of some of the officials who do not care about public funds, which explains waste and violations in complete disrespect of the law. These violations are either unsuspended or carried on by one official after the other!

That said, it would require an amendment of legislation, allowing the processing, legally, of every official wasteful of the public fund or disrespectful of the law, for the Report to be addressed! Perhaps then, the report can actually shrink, instead of thickening year after year, due to the accumulation unaddressed violations, cited on end!

Exceptionally, and back to the Bureau’s efforts, this time, the public’s interest was unlike any other year before.

The results of the Report topped social media platform trends for days; everybody was discussing them, from social gatherings to family saloons, people seemed disillusioned by the fact all that is happening in our country! This poses a question: What exactly ticked the public’s interests this time? What is so different about this report? The results aren’t that different, that is for sure; the only different thing about it is perhaps the scale of the violations and waste, which has grown.

As tiny a difference as it may seem, given the time, and the overall situation, it did muster the public’s interest to the point that some actually think it is the first time a report of the sort has been published!

Simply speaking, the public mood is not at its best, which shouldn’t com as news for the State! It is not new that the people are growing weary of the tightening situation, income limitations, with their lives un-bettered, at best, over the years; for so many reasons. Hence, news of waste, corruption, and any official discourse of the like, has become a provoking nuisance for Jordanians, already weighed by the strains of many difficult decisions, all in the effort to save the financial ship.

Hence, the recurrence of citations, of violations, only means that respective monitory bodies, charged with implementing accountability measures and following up on the Bureau’s reports, particularly MPs, are short on their jobs, to the point that these reports have become more or less a custom for show!

Added, and more so, the contents of the Audit Report proves that consecutive government did not endeavour by the least to rectify problems. Contrarily, they conducted and developed new and innovative violations that as infuriating as they are unprecedented!

Some officials have the audacity to claim that the Audit Bureau’s work disrupts the work of other bodies and hinders achievements. If that were true, then what needs to be done is not the breaking of law and regulation, but amending them to fit the discourse and purpose of “achievement” as these officials see suitable!

It is dangerous; that the Audit Report’s citations have been going unaddressed year after the other.

Fact is, so long as the rule and authority of law is conceded, violation will persist, and abidance by regulation will no longer be the decisive pillar of public work it should be.

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