The Petition Committee of the People’s Majlis has agreed to request that the Auditor General’s Office undertake a performance and financial audit of the National Drug Agency (NDA).
After researching the “Change NDA” petition submitted to the People’s Majlis, the report published by the Petition Committee on Thursday included several recommendations to tackle the drug issue in the country. One of the recommendations is to conduct a performance and financial audit of the NDA.
Another idea provided by the Petition Committee is to develop a drug-related master policy that is unchangeable even if the government changes.
After the committee report is approved by the Majlis, it will be distributed to government agencies.
Following meetings with the heads of several government agencies responsible for combating drug abuse and drug trafficking, as well as visits to rehabilitation centres, the committee’s report highlighted several systematic issues contributing to the country’s major drug problem.
Some of the committee’s findings:
- Even though the NDA cited funding restrictions in providing services from centres, the committee decided it receives an adequate budget.
- The NDA’s buildings and centres are old and in poor condition.
- The centres do not provide a consistent supply of vital medications for treatment.
- Outsourced work has not been compensated for by the centres.
- Some centres lack legally mandated superintendents.
- Counsellors are in short supply at the centres.
- The NDA has not been monitoring the centres.
The committee report made many recommendations to strengthen the services given by the NDA’s centres and to address the country’s drug problem. The key recommendation was that the NDA and the Drug Court be provided with the required equipment.
Some of the committee’s suggestions include:
- With the advice of the Maldives Customs, to upgrade border control machinery and equipment.
- To make essential adjustments to drug legislation.
- To solve the operational problems that police encounter.
- To decrease the bureaucracy involved in holding institutions accountable.
Majlis member Ahmed Haitham sponsored the “Change NDA” petition, which garnered over 1,050 signatures. The petition identifies numerous challenges in addressing the drug misuse problem and demands for their resolution.