KUWAIT: The National Assembly’s financial and economic affairs committee yesterday approved a proposal to allow the employment of stateless people or bedoons in government jobs, rapporteur of the panel said. MP Mohammad Al-Jabri said that the proposal gives the priority of jobs to children of Kuwaiti women married to bedoons and those counted in the 1965 census. The lawmaker said the proposal applies to bedoons holding high degrees.
The government appoints bedoons under extremely exceptional cases like teachers and nurses, but their appointment is not permitted. Bedoons are people who or their ancestors were born in Kuwait decades ago and claim they have no other nationality documents. The government insists the bedoons have discarded their identification documents in a bid to get Kuwaiti citizenship with its benefits. There are around 110,000 bedoons in Kuwait.
Head of the financial affairs panel MP Faisal Al-Shaye meanwhile said the committee completed the approval in principle of the key public tenders law which included new controls on the awarding of tenders. Shaye said the new draft law consists of 98 articles compared to just 50 articles in the present law, adding the new bill is more transparent and fair. Among the new additions to the law is that contractors having trouble completing current projects will not be awarded new projects until they resolve the problems.
The new law requires bidders to present separate technical and financial bids and the latter will not be opened unless the technical bid fulfills the requirements, he said. The bill also tackles the issue of winners withdrawing in favor of those in second place against a sum of money, and bans such a practice. The bill stipulates the formation of a petitions committee under the Cabinet instead of the Central Tenders Committee handling such sensitive matters, Shaye said. He said the draft law will be referred to the Assembly for debate in the next session or the one after that.
Meanwhile, the legal and legislative committee yesterday rejected a proposal to advance the clock two hours in Kuwait in the summer months in a bid to reduce the impact of the scorching heat on workers. Under Kuwait law, laborers working under the direct sun are banned from working between noon and 4 pm in June, July and August.
Minister of Public Works Ali Al-Omair said the awarding of the airport expansion project will be decided by the Cabinet after a committee hears the views of the ministry and the Audit Bureau. The tender was awarded to a local and Turkish company but the ministry did not sign it because of financial objections.