Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company Ltd (MIFCO) has failed to meet deadline for information disclosure on media spend, as ordered by Information Commissioner’s Office of the Maldives (ICOM).
TMJ’s parent company Dhiyares media had requested MIFCO to issue the details of media spend and the procedures for advertisements, under the right to information act. MIFCO had refused to comply.
Dhiyares had filed a rebuttal with ICOM, where MIFCO alleged that the requested information were trade secrets. It also said the procedures on ad spend were internal documents and, as such, cannot be disclosed.
ICOM sentenced that the requested information was well within the terms set under right to information act and had ordered the company to release the details before 7th July 2022.
MIFCO had failed to meet the deadline.
An inside source had released some of the information to Dhiyares and TMJ. Based on the information provided, so far this year, MIFCO had spent over MVR 800,000 on select local media. Most of the media the company had spent on have low viewership.
MIFCO had launched an internal investigation into the leak. Under this investigation, laptops belonging to several staff have been confiscated. The company has gone to the length of restricting access to accounts, finance and procurement information.
The investigation is led by Nazeeha Ahmed, the newly appointed General Manager of the newly created Business Development Department. Nazeeha is sister to First Lady Fazna, and wife to Commissioner of Police Mohamed Hameed.