Al-Bidah study on KFAS

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Researcher Amani Al-Bidah published a distinguished study on the background of the establishment of the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS), in which she stated that the idea began when the Chamber of Commerce, in April 1976, addressed joint stock companies to establish a legal entity to contribute to the sustainability of the economy, investment in the human element, and advancing progress through encouraging scientific research and motivating the pursuit of higher education in various fields.

The companies responded to the request, and deposited 1,500 dinars in the entity’s founding account, in preparation for the meeting, in coordination with the late Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad, who was deputy Amir at the time, prime minister and crown prince.

The meeting was held upon the invitation of the Chamber on the 7th of June, and 6 members of the Board of Directors were elected, and the establishment of the Foundation was announced, and that its resources would be mainly from 5% of the net profits of the joint-stock companies.

In December 1976, an Amiri decree was issued recognizing the legal personality of the Foundation as a private institution established by individuals in their capacity as representatives of joint stock companies.

On the other hand, it is recognized by the state, by an Amiri decree, and they established two degrees of oversight over the executive management, the first being an elected board of directors, and the second a general assembly held once every 3 years, but that was later canceled and caused a disruption in the governance of the institution, after canceling the unique historical nature of the company’s initiative in their obligation to pay annual subscriptions.

It also contradicted one of the well-established foundations of governance, which is that deduction from companies’ profits is something that necessarily requires their participation in monitoring the institution, and this placed a double responsibility on the executive management, and the need for it to adopt a greater degree of transparency in managing its affairs, without prejudice to the privacy of its information, while placing measures to establish internal control procedures, through which the Board of Directors can quickly identify deficiencies.

Researcher Amani Al-Bidah says that the sustainability of the institution and its ability to achieve its goals require continuous government spending of not less than 2.7 billion dinars, and this did not happen.

What the institution has collected so far is not comparable to the amount above, and the institution’s management is restricted, due to its limited resources, and with all this it is required to do a lot.

Therefore we find that its impact is also limited, especially with the near collapse of public education and the decline in the level of higher education, and the evaporation of support for research at the national level, with a complete absence of national strategies with clear objectives, resources, and economic development programs.

This is in addition to the government’s failure to oblige its institutions, according to a data management law, to collect and publish audited data on national indicators and the performance of various government institutions.

The researcher concluded by saying that the Foundation has undertaken, since its inception, a large number of initiatives that included studying and setting strategic directions for the state in several fields, most of which came to save the public sector from wear and tear, to enhance the sustainability of the social safety net for citizens, to raise the efficiency of spending on health and education, and to strengthen the efficiency of the private sector and its role in diversifying the economy.

However, governments have abandoned most of what has been proposed, and have not provided the minimum level of follow-up to develop these studies, implement any of them, or adopt their main directions.

In conclusion, the success of the institution requires the joint-stock companies to restore their role in governance.

e-mail: [email protected]

By Ahmad alsarraf

This news has been read 25264 times!

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