KUWAIT CITY, April 17: Member of Financial and Economic Affairs Committee in the Parliament MP Saleh Ashour disclosed that they deliberated on the suggestion to include children of Kuwaiti women married to non-Kuwaitis in the fund for Kuwaiti students who pay for their school expenses.

In a press statement after the committee meeting on Monday, Ashour revealed the representatives of Higher Education Sector requested for more time to present their views on the suggestion.

On the other hand, Ashour said the panel members have agreed to include in the pension scheme all Bedoun military personnel who participated in the liberation of Kuwait.

In another development, Ashour urged HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah to face the recent grilling motions. “It is unthinkable for us to agree on referring these motions to the Constitutional Court or any other entity or postpone them,” he asserted.

Ashour added he is against the idea of referring such motions to the Constitutional Court or the Legislative and Legal Affairs Committee, or to postpone them indefinitely. Meanwhile, the Budgets and Final Accounts Committee in the Parliament discussed Monday the budgets of Kuwait Fire Service Directorate (KFSD) for fiscals 2015/2016 and 2017/2018 as well as the comments of financial controllers and State Audit Bureau. Committee Chairman MP Adnan AbdulSamad said the panel fully appreciates the role of firemen who face difficulties in carrying out their tasks, while clarifying that presenting observations does not mean belittling the firemen’s unique efforts as it is rather aimed at ensuring funds are used to achieve goals of the directorate. He then enumerated various issues tackled in the meeting as follows:

• Internal audit management — Despite the State Audit Bureau’s report about good developments in internal audit management, the internal audit unit in the directorate has yet to be put under the highest supervisory authority and it needs more employees to match the workload. The committee observed that internal audit units in many government agencies are not under the supervisory authority while there is confusion in their work mechanism, hence, the need for governmental solution.

• Management of contracts — Contracts and tenders must be reviewed to prevent repetition of previous mistakes such as approving payment of a contract worth KD 254,000 although it was not reviewed by the State Audit Bureau. This requires thorough investigation because it is considered a financial irregularity as confirmed by the bureau. The bureau also noticed low rental value in some of the contracts of telecommunication companies operating for support stations for more than 10 years. These contracts must be updated with new rental values in coordination with the Ministry of Finance and there should be bank guarantees whenever the contracts are renewed.

• Recruitment — The Civil Service Commission (CSC) praised the KFSD for correcting the error of the Employment Affairs Department which must fill the employment gap in a number of centers that reached 232 jobs according to the bureau’s assessment, taking into consideration the budget for the new fiscal year includes 37 public employment posts and 410 fire service jobs.

• Fire engines and projects — The new fiscal year budget includes approximately KD11 million for the purchase of land and marine machinery and firefighting equipment with the committee’s commitment to approve funds required for upgrading engines that regulators might find inefficient considering the disbursement of more than KD 13 million in the past four years for this purpose. The final account of the directorate showed lack of spending on eight construction projects, including the design of fire stations in a number of areas despite the necessity to implement these projects immediately in order to meet the people’s needs.

 

By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff