KUWAIT CITY, May 18: MP Al- Humaidi Al-Subai’e has submitted a bill signed by four MPs on nationalizing jobs at Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) and its subsidiaries within six months after ratifying the bill.
The bill mandates KPC and its subsidiaries to advertise vacancies for citizens. In case no Kuwaiti applies for the vacant posts, priority will be given to the children of Kuwaiti women married to non-Kuwaitis and then the expatriates under a contract valid for one year.
The contract should not be renewed unless the post is advertised for Kuwaitis to apply.
In case, a citizen applies for the job, he will be appointed. The bill also prohibits the renewal of contracts with consulting companies, while the contracts of expatriate consultants will not be renewed unless the post is advertised for Kuwaitis and no citizen applies.
Kuwaiti employees under contract will be appointed based on the Kuwaitization policy within six months of enforcing the law.
Moreover, MP Abdullah Al-Romi commented on rumors about an expatriate consultant at the National Assembly — Shafiq Emam, asserting these rumors are baseless and that Emam is innocent. He explained that in 2003, he chaired the parliamentary Legal and Legislative Affairs Committee which was tasked to investigate why the copy of a bill referred to the government did not include the text approved by the Assembly. The committee later discovered the error was unintentional as it was due to a fault in the printing machine, he said.
He added that Emam worked with him for years and he is very competent, disclosing the latter continued to work at the Assembly for three years after the abovementioned incident until he decided to resign and work at the Public Institution for Social Security (PIFSS) where his efforts were highly appreciated.
He also thanked Al-Ghanim for reappointing Emam, stressing the Assembly needs his great contributions. Meanwhile, the National Assembly Office on Sunday discussed the contracts signed by the government from March 12 to May 16 with Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim and several MPs in attendance. During the meeting, the State Audit Bureau (SAB) conducted a presentation on the government contracts signed within the above-mentioned period.
In a press conference after the meeting, Al-Ghanim disclosed that SAB tackled 558 contract-related issues and the value of these contracts totaled KD 752 million. He said 383 or 69 percent of these issues were resolved, while 175 or 31 percent valued at K253 million were dismissed. He added the issues discussed within the same period in 2019 totaled 443 and all of them were resolved, pointing out the lower number of resolved issues this year implies low expenditures that could be attributed to measures taken to curb the spread of coronavirus such as lockdown.
He said 41 percent of the resolved issues are related to coronavirus and 59 percent on other emergent concerns. He revealed the highest number of issues concerns the Ministry of Health at 55 percent, 31 percent for the Cabinet, 10 percent for the Ministry of Finance and four percent for the Ministry of Defense. He continued saying that 59 percent of the issues are related to previous contracts, as well as the maintenance of roads, electricity and water facilities, Kuwait International Airport Terminal Two, military equipment, wireless telecommunications company and other ongoing projects.
According to SAB, some details of contract violations spread on mass and social media platforms are true while others are fictitious. The bureau did not approve contracts found to be riddled with irregularities, such as high prices, the speaker added. He clarified the Cabinet can approve any of the contracts rejected by SAB as per the law on its establishment, but such a step has not been taken so far. On the other hand, MP Ali Al-Daqbasi expressed fear that the Ministry of Health (MoH) might repeat the hospitality issue involving the Ministry of Interior (MoI), indicating that as per the presentation of SAB, the MoH fl oated a tender for the supply of sterilizers at wholesale price of KD 2.850 while the retail price is only 800 fils. He warned that anyone who takes advantage of the coronavirus crisis to make illegal gains will be questioned.
In addition, MP Sa’adoun Hammad said the presentation of SAB included the recorded observations on the contracts signed by the government, especially the MoH.
The bureau informed the MPs that 13 contracts were rejected and 11 of these contracts are that of MoH, he revealed. He asked about the contract for supplying equipment valued at KD 5.6 million with a company whose capital is only KD 1,000. The bureau confirmed this, indicating the Central Agency for Public Tenders (CAPT) approved the contract earlier. The bureau later rejected the contract and it also cited conflict of interest because a dentist who works at MoH owns the company, he added.
By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff