IN THE PAST few years, we have been following up with keenness the establishment of unnecessary public authorities that are only significant in serving as offices where people can occupy positions and enjoy free prominence — deliberately or not deliberately.
The fact is that huge budgets are allocated to them along with positions that are administratively and operationally useless! The funny aspect is that the authorities established were originally departments under the organizational structure of some ministries until they were easily converted to independent authorities by the decision-makers.
Amidst the current official directions to streamline expenditures, it is important to restore many of these authorities to their primary status. The government can delete their leadership and organizational structures and change them to departments under relevant ministries or merge them or even deal with them in a manner that may serve the public interest.
For several years, everybody has been observing the establishment of public authorities — even as their transformation into huge administrations is unnecessary, especially the associated budget for leadership and organizational structures preceded by legal edicts for making appointments and concerted efforts, which could have been saved for other more important activities.
I will not bore readers with the names of target authorities, as they are already known. The oldest of such authorities was established only a couple of years ago and it has yet to add any value to the country or boast of other accomplishments that could prove right the decision of their establishment. Rather, they are additional burden to the nation as a whole, taking into account the huge expenses they make without commensurable effect!
From the time when many of these authorities were established, they have not demonstrated that such an enormous change in the structure is worthy. Therefore, the only change is in job titles and leadership brought about by the creation of unneeded positions.
The only worthy public authority is the one catering for expatriate affairs, as it controls the labor departments affiliated to Ministry of Social Affairs, residency departments affiliated to the Ministry of Interior, expatriate workers medical examinations departments affiliated to the Ministry of Health, and the health insurance service for expatriates paid at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor or the Ministry of Health. Through certain efforts, the establishment of such public authorities is necessary, because it will impact positively in the significant area.
I remember former Lawmaker and Minister Jassem Al-Oun proposed the establishment of Public Authority for Expatriates over two decades ago, but the essential proposal did not enjoy the needed attention. I wish it can be revisited.
Finally, making administration easy for citizens and expatriates is important and a major duty of the government but there is no need for further creation of public authorities, as the step adversely affects the development of public administration while the country does not derive any real benefit from it. The authorities rather should be reverted to their original administrative structure with minor improvements in scientific approach rather than random action. This will be better and more beneficial.
Based on personal reasons, I wish to apologize for discontinuing writing articles in this column until further notice. I bid you goodbye until further notice, while committing you in the care of Allah Almighty the sole Protector.
By Yousef Awadh Al-Azmi