KUWAIT CITY, July 11: Financial irregularities in approved budgets, amounting to KD 3.8 billion, have been accumulating since the pre-invasion era, says MP Saleh Ashour. While pointing out that the State Audit Bureau has the authority to supervise and monitor deposits and final accounts of government institutions, the lawmaker disclosed that the budget for fiscal 1994/1995 reached KD 187 million.
He said the most important payments then were for the cultural and health offices abroad, in addition to the external money transfers of embassies. He explained the questionable payments increased by 1,923 percent over the years starting from 1992 till date, indicating the balance in fiscal 2004/2005 was KD 456 million. He claimed there were disbursements made without approval of the Ministry of Finance, clarifying the issue was raised for the first time in the 2013 Parliament through report number 39 of the Budgets and Final Accounts Committee.
He affirmed the current Parliament took up issue and he highlighted it during the closing session on June 8, 2017. He said the Ministry of Health recorded the highest amount — KD654 million, in addition to the foreign, educational, cultural expenditures and money transfers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He added the government was supposed to address the issue and instruct the concerned authorities not to disburse any amount without obtaining approval from the Budget Department of the Ministry of Finance, affirming the time has come to determine the causes and address the issue.
Meanwhile, MP Riyadh Al-Adsani regards the financial situation of the State as “dilapidated” due to lack of effort to strengthen the public budget. He also emphasized the need to focus on foreign investments and to fix loopholes. In another development, MP Khalil Aboul has presented questions to Minister of Education and Higher Mohammed Al-Fares about the bogus academic certificates.
He requested for copies of decisions to form commissions of inquiry tasked to look into forged certificates among the teaching staff in Kuwait University and Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET) in the last five years till date; copies of investigation transcriptions by the committees at the university, PAAET and other government bodies in the last five years till date; results of investigations; actions taken by the Ministry of Higher Education against those proven to be behind the forged certificates; and mechanism for verification of the academic certificates of faculty members at the university, PAAET and other institutions.
By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff