KUWAIT CITY, March 4: The Minister of Electricity, Water and Renewable Energy, Minister of Social Affairs and Community Development, Dr. Mishaan Al-Otaibi, has signed a contract for the supply of 200,000 smart electricity meters.
After the signing Al-Otaibi said in a press statement, that this is the first phase of the three successive stages to supply the smart meters to transform the Ministry into an advanced digital system while the supply of 800,000 electricity meters and 300,000 smart water meters will be completed during the next three years to cover all governorates of Kuwait.
Minister Al-Otaibi stated the smart meter system allows the customer to monitor the meter reading and know the consumption in real time, through which he can control the consumption pattern and address the aspects of waste. This is in addition to facilitating the payment process automatically through smart applications to avoid the need for the customer to visit the Ministry’s customer services offices.
The customer can also choose the pre-payment or post-paid method, in addition to it enables the ministry to know the faults through alerts sent by the smart meter to the ministry’s systems, and then the malfunction is fixed immediately. The smart meter has many other features and benefits. He added, one of the objectives of the project is to replace the current meters with smart meters that can be read and operated electronically from a distance
This contributes to finding a way for the electricity and water demand planning process by obtaining accurate information on the consumption pattern in order to develop plans to ensure the efficient management of the Ministry’s resources. Meanwhile, according to reliable sources, the Ministry of Electricity and Water has completed the evaluation of about 20 percent of its employees to obtain the excellent performance reward for the year 2020, reports Al-Qabas daily.
They indicated that there are problems related to the automated system of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) which hinders the acceleration of the evaluation process. The sources explained that the names of about 35 percent of the ministry’s employees, totaling 24,800 employees, do not appear directly to the concerned employee on the automated system in order for him to evaluate them.
The Administrative Affairs Sector is working on avoiding the problem, as its employees have the authority to add the names of employees to the evaluation system so that the evaluation procedures can be completed as necessary by the line official. Furthermore, the sources said the ministry had previously set February 24 as the date for completing the evaluation of its employees, but it is expected that the evaluation process will extend to March.
In addition, sources from the ministry said they are expecting the signing of a tender for the supply of 200,000 smart meters after the national holidays. They indicated that the tender documents are currently available to the financial controller for final review before they are submitted to the Minister of Electricity and Water Dr. Muhammad Al-Fares to be signed and approved.
The sources explained that the installation process is expected to start early next August. The ministry has finally addressed the Fatwa and Legislation Department and the Ministry of Finance regarding the tender for the second batch of smart meters, which includes 300,000 electricity meters and 150,000 water meters. It is awaiting the response of the two sides in preparation to roll out in May or June.
In other news, the Ministry of Electricity and Water has applied an innovative and interesting method to measure the level of performance and to uncover the deficiencies in the delivery of services. It is doing this through the so-called “undercover client” method whereby ten employees assume the role of clients, visit the service departments of the ministry to complete transactions, and then submit reports to the leaders about the level of performance, reports Al-Qabas daily.
Assistant Undersecretary for the Planning and Training Sector Ahmed Al-Rashidi revealed that they applied this method since the beginning of the current year within the framework of a new policy to uncover defects and deficiencies in the services provided in the departments that deal with the public, especially the customer service and electrical installation departments. Al-Rashidi said, “The team that implements this policy is specialized in following up the quality of service provision and adherence to safety controls in the ministry’s buildings and customer service offices, as well as abidance by the health requirements imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic in order to reduce the spread of the virus among the employees and ensure their protection.”
By Muhammad Ghanem Al-Seyassah Staff