KUWAIT CITY, June 14: The National Assembly approved the proposal to amend the Public Tenders Law in its second deliberation Tuesday. According to the report of the Economic and Financial Affairs Committee, the law was enacted in 1964 and there have been many changes since then; hence, the need to amend the law.
The explanatory note of the bill states that it has become necessary to revise the law in line with the current administrative and technical requirements for the implementation of projects, in addition to the need for economic policies aimed at attracting foreign investors.
The amended law shall guarantee the protection of public funds while taking into account the reality that requires flexibility on the part of administrative authorities for them to overcome challenges and serve public interests.
Chairman of the Economic and Financial Affairs Committee MP Faisal Al-Shaye affirmed seven of the 11 articles of the law have been amended. He said the revised law exempts oil well drilling and extraction from its provisions.
The law also states that the Central Tenders Committee shall consist of seven members. The chairman and his deputy will be elected from among these members.
Three of the members, apart from the chairman and his deputy, shall be replaced every two years while the rest will serve for four years. The amended law allows granting the tender to the only company that submits its offer provided it meets the conditions and the price is reasonable.
It also stipulates forming a committee to deal with complaints through the decision of the Council of Ministers. The committee members’ tenure shall be three years nonrenewable. Commenting on the approval of the amendment bill, State Minister for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah Mubarak Al-Sabah hopes the revised law will have a positive impact on the economy. He considers the ratification of the bill a historic achievement, affirming the two authorities are keen on implementing the amended law immediately in order to improve the economy.
Meanwhile, the National Assembly unanimously approved reports of the Public Funds Protection Committee on the following:
■ A study prepared by the State Audit Bureau on the lease contract for a plot for the establishment of a small crafts and industries complex.
■ A study on State properties, changing orders and amicable settlements with government agencies.
■ State Audit Bureau’s comments about the Kuwait Oil Tankers Company for fiscal 2004-2005 which were recorded again in fiscal 2005-2006.
■ State Audit Bureau’s comments about Kuwait National Petroleum Corporation for fiscal 2004-2005.
■ State Audit Bureau’s comments on the balance sheet of the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET), including the collection of fines from some training institutes.
■ Status of invested assets for the periods ending June 30, 2010 until June 30, 2015 in light of the comments of the State Audit Bureau.
■ Public money cases in ministries and other government agencies. These cases came from the Ministry of Justice for the years 2013, 2014 and 2015. Moreover, the Parliament approved the final accounts and budgets of the Credit Bank of Kuwait, Central Bank of Kuwait, Public Authority for Housing Welfare, Public Authority for Roads and Land Transportation, and Public Institution for Social Security.
Budgets and Final Accounts Committee Chairman Adnan AbdulSamad said it seems the government is not willing to cooperate despite the current oil prices, expected budget deficit of KD 12 billion, and the committee’s efforts to call for rationalization of expenses in accordance with the directives of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. A number of MPs voiced their concerns while some of them insisted on diversification of State income sources and others questioned certain governmental authorities for doing nothing in spite of their huge budgets.
Some MPs like Jamaal Al-Omar lamented that this scenario is repeated every year but no concrete step has been taken to address the problem, which he attributed to the mismanagement of the government and its failure to appoint competent officials.
By Abubakar A. Ibrahim and Ahmed Al-Naqeeb Arab Times Staff