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Bill seeks to recover stolen funds
KUWAIT CITY, Sept 26: A four-day conference titled, ‘Partners in Reformation and Construction,’ was launched Sunday at the National Assembly theater in the presence of the organizers – MPs Hassan Jawhar, Hamad Rouhaldeen, Muhannad Al-Sayer, Mehalhal Al-Mudaf, Abdullah Al-Mudaf and Bader Al- Mullah, in addition to representatives of public profit societies and students union, along with a number of public figures. The conference aims to lay down the political foundation for achieving progress at different levels.
According to Al-Sayer, legislative reform is possible only in an environment that is suitable for enforcing laws; indicating there is no such environment at present. He disclosed the MPs decided to hold this conference due to the lack of initiative on the part of the government. He said the lawmakers will present programs and bills whose implementation necessitates the cooperation of the government. He added the country will soon celebrate the return of exiled citizens, emphasizing that he and his five colleagues support the Amiri initiatives regarding amnesty. He also stressed that political disputes usually disrupt the legislative progress.
Jawhar confirmed the conference is a way of opening a new page with the government, clarifying that he and his five colleagues are not crises-makers. He said they will submit important bills on several issues like the economy, housing, freedom, Bedouns and amnesty. Al-Mullah pointed out the conference includes the presentation of ways to develop non-oil sources of national income, adding the conference reflects public opinion. MP Mehalhal Al-Mudaf stated that popular legislative demands are colliding with the attitude of the executive authority. He asserted the MPs have proven their willingness to cooperate with the government through the submission of several pro-reform bills in a bid to address a number of problems.
MP Abdullah Al-Mudaf said political reform is the main entrance towards the ratification of vital laws, affirming the ideas discussed in the conference will be turned into laws which meet the demands of citizens. Rouhaldeen underscored the need for the coordinated efforts of the legislative and executive authorities in ratifying important laws. He said the issues included in the agenda of the conference are part of the tasks of the government, but the latter’s lack of action has prompted the MPs to organize the conference.
Meanwhile, MP Abdulkareem Al- Kandari has submitted a bill on the establishment of an institution, which will be affiliated to the Ministry of Justice, to track and recover stolen or laundered public funds. He proposed naming the institution as the ‘Public Institution for Tracking and Recovery of Public Funds’ to be headed by a judge; while the members shall include the director general of the Public Prosecution for Public Funds and representatives of the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kuwait Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha), Legal Advice and Legislation Department, and State Audit Bureau (SAB). The institution’s tasks are: follow up verdicts issued by Kuwaiti and foreign courts regarding public fund cases, recover stolen money along with the interest and fines, coordinate with the concerned ministries in taking the necessary steps to track down those involved in stealing public funds who escaped and then bring them back to Kuwait through legal and diplomatic channels, and sign contracts with detective offices or companies to help in arresting the criminals inside or outside the country.
The Ministry of Justice will issue the organizing decree for the institution within six months after the ratification of this bill. MP Ali Al-Qattan submitted a proposal to cancel the decisions and administrative decrees issued by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) on preventing public sector employees from continuing their studies while working. He suggested granting these employees 30 days unpaid leave without the need to get the approval of their workplaces to take the exams in or outside the country. He said these employees must submit documents proving their enrollment in institutes or universities and their exams schedule. He added the Ministry of Higher Education must accredit the academic certificates obtained by these employees provided they meet the academic accreditation and education quality criteria. By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff