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Oil minister queried over huge retirement package Panel faults KU over theft of sand worth KD 2m

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 25: MP Ali Al-Omair submitted a query to the Deputy Premier and Minister of Oil Mustafa Al-Shamali regarding the ‘financial package’ system allotted for the managing directors and their deputies when they retire, reports Al-Seyassah daily. He said, “I was told that the package offered to the managing directors and their deputies who retire from their positions in the oil sector is almost 48 times their salary”. He asked, “When was such a package approved? What were the procedures followed for its approval”, demanding for the names and designations of the board members of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) who are responsible for approving such a package. “What advantages did the managing directors and their deputies in the oil sector gain for retiring before April 2013? What was the goal and legal justification for allotting such advantages?” asked MP Al-Omair.

He explained that KPC had also offered a retirement package to the managers and team leaders during the financial year 2013-2014. However, KPC did not do justice with those officials compared to the top officials because it offered the managers and team leaders a package of 10-12 times their salary for them to retire while it offered 48 times the salary to the managing directors and their deputies.

He demanded, “Provide me with the regulations and criteria that the pack age system is based on. Provide me with the bylaws that organize the promotion process from January 2013 until now”. Meanwhile, Head of Budgets and Concluding Statement Committee MP Adnan Abdulsamad revealed that sand worth KD 2 million have been stolen from the site of Al-Shaddadiya University. He indicated that Kuwait University did not comply with the financial regulations that necessitate notifying the State Audit Bureau about contracts above KD 100,000 before signing them. MP Abdulsamad explained that the university had approved contracts worth KD 2.9 million without referring them to the bureau, adding that they were referred to the Violations Department and the committee asked them to investigate the issue.

He clarified that the Al-Shaddadiya University project provided surplus sand due to drilling operations worth KD 1.6 million per cubic meter, which is worth KD 2 million in the local market. He added that the State Audit Bureau highlighted the issue, as large quantities of sand were stolen through vehicles that enter and leave the construction site with the help of some laborers working in the site without any surveillance.

However, MP Abdulsamad indicated that Kuwait University has addressed Ministry of Finance to take appropriate procedures for managing the sand, adding that it has also asked the concerned parliamentary committee take necessary precautionary measures in this regard and establish an integrated committee or organization for protecting the public funds.

He further indicated that the university and State Audit Bureau, while discussing the concluding statement of the university, debated about the need to approve the organizational bylaw by Civil Service Commission (CSC). He explained that the university insisted it has its organizational bylaws, which manage the administration and recruitment activities. “The university perceives that there is no need to offer them to CSC and it is enough for the university’s board to approve them”, added MP Abdulsamad.

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