Rabat – Lamia Boutaleb, the Moroccan Minister Delegate in Charge of Tourism, seems to have quite the expensive taste. The young secretary general just launched a call for tenders for the renovation of the offices of her department, for a price-tag of MAD 2.5 million.
After being caught in a series of scandals, Boutaleb is under the national media spotlight yet again.
Al Massae reported on October 12 that the planned renovation concerns six luxurious offices and their accessories, as well as 75 other high-quality offices. This equipment would be used by senior tourism ministry officials and their advisors.
After comparing Boutaleb’s call for tenders on the government website to similar ones by other ministries, the cost of the budget is all the more flagrant. The Ministry of Employment and recently published a call for tenders dating to October 24 to acquire 50 cabinets, 100 armchairs and 20 desks for a total cost of MAD 249,000, around ten times less than Boutaleb’s budget.
The news of the expensive renovation comes after Boutaleb and her boss, Minister of Tourism Mohammed Sajid, acquired two a luxurious Mercedes costing no less than MAD 400,000 each, according to Boutaleb.
The call for tenders also emerged after the ministry caught flak for awarding a public contract for the revision of the national tourism strategy to a research firm created and led by a member of the political bureau of Boutaleb’s party, the National Rally of Independents (RNI).