Expats' family visa suspension is being scrutinized by the Business Committee
Chairman of the Parliamentary Budgets and Final Accounts Committee MP Osama Al-Zaid disclosed that the representatives of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) recently discussed the comments of the CSC on the recruitment procedures in ministries and their subsidiaries. Al-Zaid said the CSC recorded a total of 1,222 violations; 1,133 of which have yet to be addressed, asserting this is unacceptable. He added that 393 violations were recorded against public institutions and their subsidiaries, 104 of which have yet to be addressed. He was quick to clarify that some public institutions are committed to the recruitment regulations. He revealed that the number of recorded violations committed by ministries include 644 by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry; 331 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; 75 by the Ministry of Electricity, Water and Renewable Energy; and 35 by the Public Authority for Agriculture Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR). He confirmed that the committee asked the abovementioned institutions to address the violations, especially those resulting in the illegal payment of cash to certain officials. He made it clear that any institution, that does not correct its violations will be subjected to budget-related decisions. He said a big percentage of the violations include the illegal disbursement of allowances and privileges to the undeserving.
The lawmaker went on to say that the committee found a large number of vacant leadership positions, which require the issuance of special decrees to fill up these posts. He warned that the designation of acting officials, who hold leadership positions for a long time, has negative consequences such as the delayed issuance of urgent decisions. “This happens because the acting official is afraid that the decision he makes might be wrong and lead to his dismissal. Some acting officials tend to cooperate with corrupt parties to obtain certain advantages and privileges,” he revealed.
According to Al-Zaid, the committee is keen on determining the powers granted to the CSC; as it seems such powers are unclear, up to the extent that the CSC issues exceptional decisions concerning recruitment. He cited as an example the attitude of CSC regarding the recruitment procedures, indicating that the Ministry of Education has asked the CSC to appoint a number of officials like the chairpersons of educational districts. He said the CSC replied in 12 pages; explaining that all the nominees did not meet the requirements, so it did not approve the nomination. He added that the CSC later issued a one-page decision to exempt all the nominees from the conditions and approved all of the nominations. He said this example shows that some of the CSC’s decisions are taken whimsically rather than being committed to the regulations. He was quick to stress the fact that the abovementioned decisions were issued in 2017 and 2018, which means they were issued during the term of the previous CSC officials. He emphasized that correcting the path requires the enhancement of transparency, calling for publishing the minutes of the CSC meetings to be available to ordinary citizens. He said the people’s monitoring is essential to deter any senior official from committing violations.
On the other hand, MP Majed Al- Mutairi has forwarded queries to Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of State for National Assembly and Cabinet Affairs Essa Al- Kandari; considering the Amiri Diwan oversees the establishment of major projects including the new Justice Palace. Al-Mutairi requested information about the achievement rate of the Justice Palace project, copies of the relevant contracts showing the total value, the name of the contractor, and the completion date for each phase of the project. He wants to know the variation orders and their value if any, if any observations have been recorded by the relevant monitoring institutions, and if they have been addressed. He demanded copies of all correspondences between the Amiri Diwan and monitoring institutions like SAB, Legal Advice and Legislation Department, Ministry of Finance, and Central Agency for Public Tenders to assign the Amiri Diwan to oversee the project; comments recorded by SAB if any; if they were corrected or not; and if the project includes an extension of construction phases and the estimated cost of such extension.