Auditors object to govt hotel purchase

Egypt’s Central Auditing Agency (CAA) has raised objections to the LE24 million purchase of the Sphinx Hotel in Cairo’s Bab el-Louq district–intended for use by parliament members–by two state-owned companies.

Al-Masry Al-Youm has obtained a copy of the CAA report, which reveals that the move was approved by cabinet in September 2008.

Authorization for the purchase was granted to both the Misr Real State Asset Management Company and the Holding Company for Hotels, Tourism and Cinema. Rooms of the hotel were meant to be rented out to MPs for use as administrative headquarters after the Shura Council (consultative chamber of parliament) building in Cairo was damaged in a 2008 fire.

According to the CAA report, however, members of both the Shura Council and the People’s Assembly declined to rent rooms at the hotel, prompting the two public-sector companies to consider selling it.

Mohamed Bassiouni, head of the asset management company, said that the hotel was scheduled to be auctioned off to the highest bidder next week. He predicted a high sale price given the hotel’s central location in Downtown Cairo.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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