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Grilling to expose public-private disconnect on public interest

MPs discuss audit anomalies

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 13: MP Khalid Mohammed Al-Otaibi said the grilling motion against Minister of Labor and Social Affairs and State Minister for Economic Affairs Hind Al-Sabeeh will expose those who defended citizen’s issues in public but worked against them in secret.

On Thursday, MPs Al-Humaidi Al-Subaie, Khaled Al-Otaibi and Mubarak Al-Hajraf submitted the interpellation request against Al- Sabeeh. Parliament Speaker Marzouq Ali Al-Ghanim confirmed receiving the request which will be included in the agenda of the session slated for Jan 23, 2018. Al-Otaibi asserted that the interpellation points are considered an opportunity for the people to know the truth. “I expect that certain parties will try to thwart the interpellation because of issues raised therein.” He added the lawmakers will continue to defend the rights of the people, indicating the irregularities in the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs have worsened; hence, the need to grill the minister.

In a related development, MP Saleh Ashour said there is no objection to repeating issues mentioned in the previous grilling of the minister as they have not been resolved until now; such as those concerning the handicapped, cooperative societies, appointments, lopsided population structure and rising expatriate population. He pointed out the minister has yet to address issues related to the dissolution of the boards of directors of cooperative societies, especially the reinstatement of the boards in Kaifan and Hadiya cooperative societies.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the parliamentary Budgets and Final Accounts Committee MP Adnan Sayed AbdulSamad said they discussed with the Awqaf Secretariat General the report of the State Audit Bureau on the alleged anomalies in the disbursement of endowment funds, particularly the bonuses and privileges granted to representatives of the secretariat in companies where it has investments. He disclosed the committee expressed its reservations because the secretariat lacked preparation in discussing the report, citing the short period given to prepare for the discussion although the committee canceled the previous meeting for the same reason.

He said the committee stressed the need to correct violations, especially since the funds invested amounted to more than KD 900 million. He added about 200 lawsuits have been filed in relation to the termination of endowments amid the wastage of public money estimated at KD 84 million from 2012 to 2016 as per the bureau’s report. He revealed the committee decided towards the end of its meeting to ask the concerned minister to form a neutral committee from outside the secretariat in order to study the report and present its findings within a month. He explained the results of the committee’s work will be used as basis for taking action to stop irregularities in the secretariat.


By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff

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