MP plans to grill govt officials on questionable expenditures
KUWAIT CITY, July 15: MP Riyadh Al-Adsani has reiterated the lawmakers’ plan to grill government officials on the questionable expenditures, indicating the solution is in the hands of HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al- Mubarak Al-Hamad Al- Sabah and Finance Minister Anas Al-Saleh.
He stressed the need to activate oversight tools and hold accountable all those behind the issue, disclosing a total of 29 financial cases are yet to be settled by government agencies. He affirmed the interpellation motion is still in place unless serious steps are taken to address the problem, especially since the questionable expenditures are increasing annually.
He urged the government and its affiliates to take the necessary measures; emphasizing the need for coordination between ministers, particularly the premier and finance minister, to prevent accumulation of questionable expenditures and violation of general budget rules.
He asserted such a behavior has resulted in the loss of efficiency of tools for controlling, monitoring, evaluating and regulating expenditures. “It is totally unacceptable for these irregularities to continue as public funds have been wasted.
The questionable expenditures might affect the country’s credit rating which is related to economic and accountability standards; specifically in terms of comparing general revenues with general expenditures and calculation of assets, he added. He explained the so-called ‘temporary payments’ were supposed to be settled during the fiscal year they were made, asserting it is unacceptable that such expenditures accumulated to about KD 3.8 billion over the years with some expenses having no supporting documents. He added most of the questionable payments and internal cash credits involved money transferred to health, cultural and diplomatic offices abroad.
Although some government bodies with independent budgets had profits amounting to KD 20 billion, these profits were not transferred to the State’s treasury as they were either retained or deposited into banks; resulting in a remarkable increase in the government’s deposits within a year — from KD 5.9 billion to KD 6.8 billion at a time the public debt increased and the general financial reserve was affected by the budget deficit, issuance of bonds to provide liquidity, reduction of subsidies and increase in fees for public services, he said.
Meanwhile, MP Hamoud Al- Khudair praised the decision of the parliamentary Public Utilities Committee to investigate the flooding of Mangaf Bridge in March as the contractor was held responsible for damages. He said the committee also recommended that the contractor must compensate 24 citizens affected by the disaster.
He called on Minister of Public Works Abdulrahman Al-Mutawa to pay attention to this issue and to hold accountable all officials proven to have neglected their duties. He also underscored the need to appoint efficient officials to prevent the recurrence of the problem.
In another development, MP Faisal Al-Kandari has asked Minister of Health Dr Jamal Al-Harbi to issue an official statement if it is true that a fake doctor worked at a public hospital or not. He demanded for details, asserting that citizens have the right to know the truth as the issue is related to people’s lives. He claimed the Ministry of Health has been fl ooded with such cases, warning that lives are in danger if the fake doctor issue remains unsolved.
By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff