State spent KD 23mln in court verdicts
KUWAIT CITY, Dec 11: MP Khaleel Abdullah says the delay in forming a State Cabinet does not bode well with the government’s new directive for increased transparency and cooperation.
He stressed that this delay has hindered proper execution of parliamentary responsibilities, as legislation are starting to pile up, and the parliamentary supervision over the government is practically suspended, due to which a Cabinet should be formed as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, MPs Abdullah Ahmed Al-Kandari and Dr Bader Hamed Al-Mulla sent a letter to the National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim, calling for holding the parliamentary session on Dec 14 following the resignation of the government.
Citing Article 97 of the Constitution, the MPs explained that the condition for holding a parliamentary session is that it must be attended by at least half of the total number of MPs.
The context of that article is not bound by any other conditions. They insisted that the parliamentary sessions must resume in order to avoid paralysis of the National Assembly through suspension of its sessions until a new government is formed, highlighting that suspending parliamentary sessions is the right of His Highness the Amir, as per Article 106 of the Constitution, and the period of suspension should not exceed one month.
In another development, Head of Parliament’s Committee for Budgets and Final Accounts Adnan Abdulsamad said the committee met to discuss the budget of Fatwa and Legislation Department for the 2018/2019 fiscal year, and the observations raised by State Audit Bureau and the Bureau of Financial Controllers. He explained that the committee studied the conditions specified for appointing class B lawyers in Fatwa and Legislation Department.
It discovered that 80 percent of the evaluation criteria are allocated for personal interviews, while passing the written test is not considered in the evaluation of the applicant.
The other 20 percent of the evaluation criteria are allocated for the marks in the educational certificate. The committee recommended reducing the percentage allocated for personal interviews, and restructure the distribution of the evaluation rates to all the criteria in a reasonable manner.
The committee discussed the final accounts of the Fatwa and Legislation Department and discovered that the state spent about KD 23 million in court verdicts that were against the state. The amount recorded in the 2018/2019 fiscal year is 43 percent higher than that of the previous year.
Abdulsamad highlighted the report issued by State Audit Bureau which stressed the need to automate the department of lawsuits in Fatwa and Legislation Department, adding that the lack of an automated system has resulted in a loss of about KD 13 million.
He said the committee stressed the need to hold those responsible for such a loss accountable in order to preserve the public funds. In addition, Abdulsamad explained that the committee discussed the final accounts of Kuwait Financial Intelligence Unit (KFIU). Despite the limited number of employees in KFIU (48) and its low budget (about KD 3 million), the observations raised by the State Audit Bureau included financial violations. This indicates the weakness of the financial department within the unit.
The committee discovered that 43 percent of the items included in the budget were subjected to shifting, which implies that the estimated budget was not specified based on accurate studies. It stressed the need to activate the Audit and Inspection Office in order to avoid the repetition of such violations, and also insisted on the need to fill the vacancies especially the supervisory positions.
By Ahmed Al-Naqeeb and Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff