The Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) and the Audit Bureau said on Tuesday they will review a bureau report which deemed bonuses recently disbursed by GAM as illegal…At the meeting, attended by Amman Mayor Omar Maani, lawmakers questioned the legality of the decision to disburse JD128,000 in bonuses to senior GAM officials.
Defending the decision, Maani said the bonuses were disbursed according to the Municipalities Law and GAMâ€™s financial bylaws. He added that the bonuses were meant to retain employees, particularly after some experienced workers left the municipality for other institutions seeking higher salaries. [source]
In the context of social perceptions, the Greater Amman Municipality seems to top the list when it comes to allegations of corruptions of a Jordanian governmental body. I’m actually surprised to see this piece of news even reported by local media, which has a tradition of keeping any government corruption on the down-lo. There seems to be great difficulty in defining certain things as “corruption” under Maani’s municipality, but some well-established perceptions that have emerged in recent years tend to point out that certain companies and people have benefited from all the Municipal development. Whether those perceptions are true is another story, but once again, there is a problem of transparency.
Even such reports don’t make things clear for the public, and so those perceptions tend to build up.
I wonder how many “senior” employees benefited from these bonuses. Two? Three? Ten? A hundred?
In any case, bonuses and pay raises for senior municipal officials, ministers and members of parliament is incredibly inappropriate at a time when economies are under attack. It’s a time to tighten belts, not go on shopping sprees.