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‘Issue of abolishing authority raised many times’
KUWAIT CITY, Dec 20: Although 8 years have passed since the issuance of the law establishing it, the Public Authority for Roads and Land Transport (PART) is still suffering from job instability, reports Al-Qabas daily. Rather, the role assigned to it has not yet been decided, and the matter of its survival or cancellation is on the table with every elected National Assembly. During the past years, the issue of abolishing the authority was raised many times, and the matter was discussed in the Parliament, but PART survived, and soon there was talk of the necessity of abolishing it and assigning its role to the Ministry of Works, based on the fact that the existing overlap between the two parties is still a matter of controversy, especially since the Ministry of Works is responsible for projects before any oversight authorities, given that the projects budget is included in the ministry’s budget.
With a quick reading of the notes contained in the final report of the Audit Bureau for fiscal 2021-2022, the extent of the suffering of the “roads” and the amount of confusion that they are currently suffering from are revealed, foremost of which is that they achieved losses for the fifth year in a row, due to the increase in expenses over revenues, as the total losses since fiscal 2017-2018 was 4.3 million dinars, in addition to not issuing a decree determining the capital of the authority, despite the passage of all these years since its establishment.
The observations also included the failure of the Board of Directors to carry out some of its competencies stipulated in the internal regulations, including the issuance of regulations for each of the transport activities, tenders and auctions of the authority and warehouses, and even some members of the Board of Directors violating the text of Article 6 of the law establishing the authority, which stipulates that it is not permissible for members of the Board to submit consultations directly or indirectly, and do not assign them a job or other work in the public and private sectors during membership, a note made by the Audit Bureau and adhered to it, after it became clear that one of the members owned a license for a contracting establishment, in addition to the presidency of a part-time member of the board of directors of a foreign company.
The deficiencies also affected the representation of the authority before the judiciary, especially since the work of the legal affairs department of the authority is not activated, which resulted in the issuance of judgments that cost the authority 27 thousand dinars to compensate individuals whose vehicles were damaged due to rain, or accidents resulting from negligence in road maintenance and the absence of directional signs.
There are concerns about increasing the amount of compensation in light of the 46 lawsuits still filed against the authority. The report also revealed that examining the organizational structure and the internal regulations of the authority revealed the inclusion of the affiliation of the inspection and audit office with the general manager in violation of the text of Article 13 of the regulations, which stipulates its affiliation with the board of directors, in addition to the signature of an employee in the Ministry of Works under the name of the head of the inspection and audit office without legal basis authorizing that position, and in general the observations confirmed that the Office of Inspection and Audit has not done what was required due to the lack of employees and job grades in the authority’s budget.
The observations also indicated the absence of an automated system to mark the attendance of the authority’s employees, in violation of the decisions of the Civil Service Commission, in addition to the failure to activate the ministerial decision to transfer the affiliation of the Land Transport Department from the organizational structure of the Ministry of Transportation.
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