‘Delays’ in combating fake degrees unacceptable

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KUWAIT CITY, Dec 2: MP Hamad Al- Elyan has forwarded queries to Minister of Education, Higher Education and Scientific Research Adel Al-Manea about Law No. 78/2019 regarding fake academic certificates. He wants to know why the executive regulations for the law have yet to be issued although more than four years have passed since the law was ratified and published in Kuwait Gazette. He pointed out that the law is one way of addressing the fake academic certificates issue, considering it prohibits the accreditation of non-equivalent certificates. He asked if the law is suspended, the negative consequences on the labor market if the response is in the affirmative, and steps taken to push for the issuance of the executive regulations for the law.

MP Hassan Jawhar asked Minister of Justice and State Minister for Housing Affairs Faleh Al-Raqaba about the target date for issuing the executive regulations of Law No. 118/2023 on housing and the establishment of new residential areas. He said the law was published in Kuwait Gazette on Aug 27, 2023 and Article 39 of the law stipulates the issuance of the executive regulations within three months upon the official publication. He inquired if the Public Authority for Housing Welfare (PAHW) has specified the locations for the new residential areas as per the law, details about the specified places, and target completion date for each residential area.

Deadline
Jawhar also asked if the Higher Election Commission was formed as per Article Two of Law No. 120/2023, indicating that the law specified the deadline for the issuance of the executive — within six months after the official publication. He added the law was published more than three months ago, adding that Article Two mandates the minister to form the Higher Election Commission board consisting of five Kuwaiti judges at the Court of Appeals or the Court of Cassation. He cited Article 66 of the law, mandating the Higher Election Commission to issue the executive regulations within six months after the official publication.

He wants to know if the board was formed as per Article Two as a prelude to the enforcement of Article 66, which mandates the commission to issue the executive regulations. He then emphasized the importance of the Election Law in the implementation of political reform and in conducting fair elections. MP Shuaib Shaaban asked Al-Raqaba about the criteria for appointing senior officials at Kuwait Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha), conditions for the renewal of their term, entity tasked to assess their performance, procedures followed for the appointment of the secretary-general and assistant secretary general at the authority, copies of decisions regarding their appointment issued in fiscal 2022/2023, if the Board of Trustees approved their appointment as per the law, rationale behind the decision of the chairman of Nazaha to change the conditions for appointing senior officials and cancelled the condition of ensuring the efficiency of nominated officials, and results of the interview of nominated officials in fiscal 2022/2023. He cited the final court ruling to cancel the decision of an assistant secretary general to appoint an official, steps taken regarding the court decision, if the official in question was reappointed in violation of the court ruling, if the State Audit Bureau (SAB) requested for refund of the salaries paid to the official whose appointment decision was cancelled, and reasons for allowing expatriate officials to access confidential information on corruption issues at the office of the chairman.

On the housing issue, Shaaban inquired about the projects currently facing difficulties, list of concerned contractors, total amount of fines imposed on contractors who caused the delayed implementation of projects since 2000 till date, as well as the number and amount of variation orders for each project if any. He asked Minister of Health Ahmed Al-Awadhi about the allegation that an expatriate employee embezzled a total of KD15 million from the overseas treatment budget by manipulating the receipts of hotels booked for Kuwaiti patients in Europe, how and when the crime was discovered, date of referring the case to the Public Prosecution, how long the accused official embezzled public funds through the submission of fake receipts, method that the accused official used to embezzle public funds, and procedures adopted to verify the receipts.

The lawmaker asked the Minister of Social Affairs and State Minister for Family, Women and Children Affairs Sheikh Feras Al-Sabah to provide him with the list of public profit organizations, societies and charities that obtained licenses from the ministry; members of the board of directors in each entity; number of cooperative societies and date of the most recent General Assembly of each cooperative. He asked Minister of Education, Higher Education and Scientific Research Adel Al-Manea to provide him with the list of Kuwaiti cultural attaché offices; number of employees in each office; nationalities, qualifications and experience of these employees; recruitment method; and copies of job advertisements for employees in each overseas cultural attaché office since 2018 till date. He asked Minister of Finance Fahd Al-Jarallah to provide him with copies of the budget allocated for SAB since 2014 till date and comments of the Ministry of Finance about such budgets if any.

By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh
Al-Seyassah/Arab Times Staff

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