The parliamentary Legislative and Legal Affairs Committee on Sunday approved eight draft bills and rejected three other bills. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Committee Chairman MP Mubrak Al-Hurais disclosed they approved a draft bill on amending Article 183 of Private Sector Labor Law number 6/2010 to increase the maximum fine imposed on anyone employing a person who is not under his sponsorship from KD 3,000 to KD 5,000.
He said the committee also approved the Private Education Bill, the proposal to add a new paragraph to Article Eight of Kuwait Investment Authority Law number 47/1982 which mandates head of the authority to refer any employee suspected of embezzling public money to the Public Prosecution, and two new articles for Kuwait Municipality Law number 5/2005 that states the Municipality should not issue a license for an investment or commercial building if it does not consist of a basement and parking lot.
On the proposal to amend some provisions of law number 37/2014 regarding the establishment of a communication regulations authority, Al-Hurais confirmed the committee unanimously approved this bill, but it rejected the proposed establishment of a supreme council for economic and investment affairs because there are existing laws in this regard.
He went on to say the committee rejected the proposal to amend some provisions of the Public Funds Protection Law number 1/1993 in order to increase the shares of the State in any company from 25 percent to 50 percent. The panel also turned down a recommendation to add paragraph 38 to the State Audit Bureau Law in order to limit the tenure of the bureau’s chairman to four years.
He added the committee also approved the following proposals: creation of humanitarian leader necklace, development of curricula, and adding Article 17 (repeated) to the Amiri Order on the issuance of Social Security Law. Meanwhile, the Human Resources Development Committee discussed Sunday the bill on the appointment of officials in government institutions and some proposals presented by MPs.
Committee Rapporteur MP Ahmed Al- Qudaibi confirmed that they have agreed on the mechanism for the appointment of officials based on technical and scientific qualifications, as well as the results of personal interviews. He added a candidate should have academic experience of not less than 20 years in the same field in which he is nominated.
He clarified the committee will tackle the proposal in its upcoming meetings, during which they will listen to the viewpoints of the government and some experts. In another development, MP Auda Al- Ruwaie has announced his intention to present a grilling request against Minister of Public Works, Electricity and Water Abdul-Aziz Al-Ibrahim on four issues which will be explained in the grilling paper. Al-Ruwaie disclosed that he was one of the lawmakers who signed a no-confidence motion against the minister when MPAdel Al-Kharafi grilled him last year, explaining he signed the motion after carefully listening to the minister’s response to the interpellation points.
He followed up the recommendations presented after the grilling; in addition to the cancellation of the tender for the airport project, the nationwide blackout and other issues related to the minister’s performance. He said he will also include the statement made by the minister accusing MPs, who want to grill him, of taking money in exchange for taking such a step. On the other hand, MP Nabeel Al- Fadel criticized Al-Ibrahim for responding to a Twitter post saying, “A vote of no-confidence against a minister costs KD 350,000 and this is considered ‘tax’ for getting rid of corruption.” Al-Fadel asserted that accusing MPs of bribery is unacceptable as it is deemed offensive to the Assembly, so he demanded for an official apology from the minister; or else, the corresponding actions will be taken against him.
Agreeing with his colleague, MP Talaal Al-Jalaal stressed the Assembly will respond to what he described as “nonsensical statement” by proving the minister wrong. He said submitting an interpellation is based on the free will of an MP and his conviction. Al-Jalaal urged the minister to face the interpellation without engaging in foul play, in order to clarify to the Kuwaiti public the extent of negligence and violations in his ministries.
From his side, MP Jamaal Al-Omar stated the minister’s claim is false and he should have taken legal steps to address the issue. He then advised the MPs and ministers to always observe good political conduct and refrain from issuing offensive statements. Furthermore, MP Rakaan Al-Nusuff asserted the success of Kuwait’s Anti- Corruption Authority entails cooperation of all governmental officials and the Kuwaiti public - citizens and expatriates.
He pointed out this is considered a national obligation which is essential in combating corruption. He added now that the long awaited executive bylaws of the law on the establishment of the authority have been issued, they should be implemented without obstruction. He warned against any attempt to hinder the authority’s operations. He believes the authority will be the main target of influential figures involved in public fund embezzlement and those unable to live under the rule of law. He revealed the authority’s operations will be under the Parliament’s supervision to ensure proper implementation of the law, especially the financial disclosure of the heads of the three authorities.
Considering the political instability and financial corruption that the State of Kuwait has been through in recent years, the authority carries a big burden of making sure no suspicious financial activity goes unquestioned, he added. Al-Nusuf stressed the citizens are also obligated to do their part by reporting suspicious activities, affirming that the Constitution and the authority’s law will protect the wellbeing of whistle blowers during and after investigations. He clarified this does not mean the Parliament is now relieved from its supervisory obligations, as it requires the legislature to firmly stand by the public in their fight against corruption.