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Lawmaker laments replacement of ministers dulls MP tool of grillings

KUWAIT CITY, March 10: An interpellation motion, once submitted, must serve its intended purpose; because the Parliament’s supervision over its executive counterpart is not limited to grilling, says Chairman of the parliamentary Budget and Final Accounts Committee MP Adnan Abdulsamad.

However, a minister usually leaves his post after interpellation; rendering this parliamentary procedure pointless as the issue is passed on to the new minister, the lawmaker added. He disclosed the biggest challenge that the committee faces whenever it investigates governmental shortcomings and their points of origin is the replacement of ministers and officials. He said this hinders the process; hence, the lawmakers cannot question ministers in an affective and productive manner. He asserted all interpellations should serve reformative purpose, similar to the meetings of his committee. He pointed out every committee meeting can be considered an interpellation as matters are discussed using the language of numbers. He then highlighted the achievements of the committee in terms of productivity.

The State Audit Bureau (SAB) supported the chairman’s statement, confirming the committee’s work yielded positive results. Although these results did not meet expectations, there has been significant decrease in the number of issues and violations being followed up by SAB. He added SAB looks into issues raised by the committee, followed by disciplinary action or referral to the Public Prosecution.

Without belittling grilling as a parliamentary tool, committee supervision such as the work being done by the Budget and Final Accounts Committee could be more effective than interpellation. Some use interpellation as a tool to antagonize the government, not necessarily by the MP who submitted the motion but others, he explained. Agreeing with his colleague, MP Adel Al- Damkhi expects an influx of announcements of plans to grill ministers due to recent events that require parliamentary intervention.

Nevertheless, he affirmed the abundance of parliamentary supervision tools, not just interpellation; as manifested in the work of the committee. He added the supervisory role of the current Parliament is more active than its legislative role; taking into consideration that it managed to stop the implementation of proposals deemed harmful to the public such as taxes, while it paved way for the approval of vital legislation like the Early Retirement Bill. The Parliament continues to play its supervision role effectively as it intends to prioritize certain issues in the coming days like the appointment of officials, crisis management and amendment of the Electronic Media Law.

By Ahmed Al-Naqeeb Arab Times Staff

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