Friday , February 22 2019

‘Audit’ must remain neutral

Ahmad-Al-Sarraf

Many loyal people of this small country were saddened to read and hear all this controversy evolving around the excesses in the State Audit Bureau. Doubts gave credence to the controversy because of the silence on the part of the Bureau or rather attempts by the higher management of the Bureau to distance itself from the rumors that have been flying in all directions, especially in the media. However, this is not the right way of dealing with such news or rumors.

The Constitution of Kuwait, promulgated on Nov 11, 1962, stipulates the need to establish a fully independent chamber whose task is to control the state’s finances, in the belief of the legislator that the public money should be fully protected and spending it for the support and welfare of society.

Although the Bureau is constitutionally subordinate to the National Assembly, its mission is also to assist the government in controlling state revenues and expenditures, and ensure that the money is spent within the budget, and therefore has the responsibility to submit an annual report to the two parties.

The Bureau’s success depended on the strength or weakness of its chairman. It was chaired by Hamoud Al-Zaid Al-Khalid in 1965, Ahmad Mohammad Al-Marzouq in 1975, Fajhan Al-Mutairi in 1975, Salem Al-Mudhaf in 1975, Faris Al-Waqayan in 1982, Barrak Al-Marzouq in 1982 and Abdulaziz Al-Adsani in 2009 and nobody was appointed following the death of Al-Adsani in 2015.

Due to the importance and effectiveness of the Bureau, some people speak about its delay, perhaps deliberately, to endorse or approve a lot of vital tenders, and the need to take prior approval on any project costing more than one hundred thousand dinars, and how this pre-monitoring delays the completion of many projects.

The responsibility of the Bureau increased with the beginning of the 1990s, when the public funds protection law extended its controlling arm to include foreign investment.

The Bureau was also empowered with the establishment of the Financial Supervisory Authority in 2015 to carry out the task of pre-supervisory task of the disbursement in various government agencies, and thus its division is more preventive than the Bureau.

Despite my ideological differences with MP Adnan Abdel-Samad, it is important to pay tribute to his significant role in monitoring state expenditure and establishing the Audit Controller apparatus, we hope to hear from the State Audit Bureau what dispels doubts about the corruption of some of its staff.

We also hope stopping the political appointment in some of its organs, and we do not want the financial control bodies to lose the confidence of the people, especially after the regional and global reputation it gained over the years which was a source of pride for all of us, and it must distance from any polarization and not subject to any political influence, must remain neutral and induct professionalism as ruler in the performance of its vital function.

e-mail: habibi.enta1@gmail.com

By Ahmad Al-Sarraf

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