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Ministry of Social Affairs tightens control over employment in ‘cooperatives’

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KUWAIT CITY, Jan 23: The Cooperative Societies Control and Inspection Department affiliated to the Ministry of Social Affairs, represented has given permission to its inspectors to tighten control over recruitment procedures in general related to national workforce, especially within the cooperative societies to ensure their actual presence on the job, reports Al-Jarida daily. This happened after the daily published a news report on Jan 11, 2022 under the title entitled ‘Inspection of national labor exposes fictitious employment in cooperative societies’.

The sources pointed out that out of concern for the shareholders’ money and not affecting the financial positions of the cooperative societies, the Ministry is working to monitor any difference between the monthly salaries the employees receive. The sources said that the ministry has obligated the “cooperatives” to follow a rational limited employment policy according to its actual needs, provided that the ratio of salaries, in executive and supervisory positions, to sales does not exceed 7 percent, according to the latest financial report without calculating exceptional sales periods, specifying the procedures to be followed.

The sources pointed out that the priority is for citizens, then children of Kuwaiti women, then bedoun followed by citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, then citizens of Arab countries, then other nationalities, indicating that the contract term is one year, subject for renewal, and the employee may not hand over the work before the contract is ratified by the ministry. In other news, the Ministry of Social Affairs is waiting for a meeting to be held at the end of this month or early February with the Parliament’s Budgets and Final Account Committee, and representatives of all the oversight bodies in the state, including the State Audit Bureau, Civil Service Commission, the Ministry of Finance, the Financial Controllers Bureau, and others, to review the actions taken in terms of the financial and administrative observations recorded by these authorities on their work during the 2020/2021 fiscal year, reports Aljarida daily.

According to the sources from the Ministry of Social Affairs, the aforementioned meeting will focus on the observations recorded on the work of the IT Department of the ministry, which exceeded 30 notes, especially those related to contracts concluded with some companies executing the automated interface and mechanization of the ministry’s services. The ministry’s Planning and Administrative Development Sector had reduced the estimated value of some of these services and canceled some others.

This achieved savings for the State Treasury by about one million and 200 thousand dinars without affecting the services provided. The sources said the former minister of Social Affairs was satisfied with the committee that was formed to study all IT contracts and automated systems without forming an investigation committee to study each contract separately, to check whether there are suspicions of fraud and waste of public money, and hold those involved in them accountable.

They stressed that the aforementioned committee, which included a technical team formed by several neutral parties, reviewed and audited the contracts and then submitted its recommendations. It came after the minister decided to end the work of the team formed by ministerial resolutions No. 1395/A/2021 and 1959/A/2021 to investigate violations and abuses that marred information systems. That team was not given sufficient time to exercise its duties and investigate such violations and abuses.

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