Iraq’s prime minister has sacked Electricity Minister Raad Shallal al-Ani, after the government said an investigation had uncovered irregularities in power contracts with two foreign companies.

Under Iraqi law, the country’s parliament must approve his dismissal for the decision to be final.

A government ombudsman has said that Iraq has cancelled power plant contracts worth $1.7bn with a Canadian and a German company – both unnamed, after finding “manipulation and misleading information” about their finances or their ability to carry out the work.

According to a report in Reuters, the ministry has also asked the cabinet to rule on a $2.76bn power plant construction contract with South Korea’s STX Group, signed in February 2010, saying the company risked missing a deadline to meet one of its contract terms.

He became electricity minister in February this year, taking over from former oil minister Hussain al-Shahristani, who moved to Deputy Prime Minister for Energy.