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KUWAIT CITY, Nov 29: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah sent a congratulatory cable to Minister of Public Works and Minister of Electricity, Water and Renewable Energy Amani Suleiman Bugamaz following her grilling at the National Assembly earlier Tuesday. In his cable, His Highness the Amir commended the Minister’s performance and answers to the questions raised by MPs. He praised as elegant the democratic experiment of the country displayed by MPs during the interpellation, praying to Allah the Almighty to enable everybody to serve the homeland. In a similar vein, His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah sent a congratulatory cable to Amani following her grilling at the National Assembly earlier Tuesday.
In his cable, His Highness the Crown Prince commended the Minister’s efficiency and reasonable answers to the questions raised by MPs. He also praised as elegant the democratic experiment of the country displayed by MPs during the interpellation, praying to Allah the Almighty to enable everybody to serve the homeland under the wise leadership of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. The National Assembly on Tuesday discussed the grilling motion of MP Hamdan Al-Azmi against Minister of Public Works Amani Bugamaz on the conflict of interests and misleading the MPs.
During the discussion, Al- Azmi revealed that some parties think it is too early to submit a grilling motion and they consider this move a way to instigate crisis. He stressed the need to change such a perception, because Bugamaz misled the MPs when she said the College of Petroleum and Engineering at Kuwait University assigned her to the new airport project in response to the lawmakers’ comments; as it was discovered later that she was a consultant for the Hazard Unit of the project. He pointed out that Bugamaz violated the regulations when she appointed the Ministry of Public Works undersecretary, since the latter tried to exempt the company tasked to implement the airport project from paying the KD110 million fine for delaying the completion of the project.
He said the project started in 2016 and it was supposed to be completed in 2022, but the period was extended by 495 days – a clear indication that Bugamaz serves in the interest of the contracting company, not the State. He went on to say that former Public Works Minister Rana Al- Fares visited the project site, during which she spotted the fake documents and concluded that the contracting company has no right to request for extension of the contract period. He added the decisions that Bugamaz has taken since she assumed office are more dangerous than appointing her as public works minister, stressing she challenged the MPs and appointed the director of the new airport project as undersecretary only because the latter managed the project while the minister served as consultant of the company tasked to implement the project. He said the Civil Service Commission (CSC) rejected the appointment, yet Bugamaz pushed through with it; thereby, disregarding the interests of the assistant undersecretaries.
He revealed the undersecretary sent a letter approving the extension of the contract term, but the concerned assistant undersecretary suspended the extension; because it means that the contractor will not pay the KD110 million fine. He also cited the decision of the undersecretary during the latter’s term as airport project director to approve the runway pavement material without consulting the oversight department and the concerned consultant, considering the approved material does not match the specifications stated in the contract.
Responding to the grilling motion, Bugamaz clarified that her appointment as consultant at the Hazards Unit of the airport project is not part of any deal. She affirmed that rendering consultancy services outside the official working hours as a Kuwait University staff is in line with the regulations. She said the appointment of university staff for consultancy jobs does not contravene the policies of the university and other public institutions. By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff and Agencies