Officials referred to legal affairs department
KUWAIT CITY, May 1: Kuwait Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha) has addressed the Ministry of Social Affairs to check on the recent violations by the ministry’s computer department and ensure it is cleared of suspicions of corruption, wastage of public funds and abuse of authority, reports Aljarida daily. According to informed sources, these violations led the Assistant Undersecretary for Planning and Administrative Development Affairs at the ministry Abdulaziz Sari to refer officials from the department to the legal affairs department on the grounds of non-compliance with the implementation of the “mechanization” projects included in the ministry’s development plan during the specified period of time, in addition to the low spending on these projects.
The sources revealed that the investigations conducted with some employees of the department resulted in administrative penalties, such as deductions from the salary of two weeks, and 13-day deduction from monthly salaries of two employees. They explained that the delayed projects include the automation of public utility societies with its two wings – charitable and civil, and lack of signing the contract yet.
Sari refused to contract directly with a company in order to ward off any suspicions of exploitation or abuse of influence and wastage of public money, especially since the completion of the contractual process must be done in accordance with the legal frameworks and procedures that regulate the issue, in line with the directives of the regulatory authorities in the country. In its issue on February 22, the daily had published a news article titled “Spending on mechanization projects … zero”, in which it was indicated that the rate of spending on mechanization projects of the Ministry of Social Affairs included in its 2020/2021 annual development plan was “zero” as of the end of last January. The low disbursement rates on these projects in this unprecedented manner exposes the ministry to accountability from the oversight authorities in the country – the State Audit Bureau and the Financial Oversight Authority – for its failure to implement the development plan during the specified time period.