By A Saleh

KUWAIT: Rapporteur of the parliamentary educational affairs committee MP Khalil Abul said the committee met to discuss a bill on protecting younger generations through the media and that it still awaits the government’s response on that matter. Abul added that the committee also discussed proposed amendments on the penalties included in the audiovisual and publication laws.

“The committee invited a number of media figures to attend its coming meeting to help reach a final decision on those amendments,” Abul underlined. The proposed amendments include canceling the jail penalty for offenses mentioned in the audiovisual and publication laws, the lawmakers explained.

In a different concern, Abul said the committee invited the minister of education and Civil Service Commission (CSC) representatives to discuss the student affairs staff’s increments as well as some violations committed on appointing some senior education ministry officials.

“It seems that some midterm exam papers were leaked,” said Abul, referring to the recently concluded school midterm exams, noting that the committee decided calling for an urgent meeting to discuss the matter with education ministry officials. In the meantime, Education Minister Dr Saud Al-Harbi announced yesterday setting up an ‘urgent’ ad hoc committee to investigate suspected grade 12 exams’ leak, and present its report within 30 days.

Bedoons’ passports
High-ranking sources at the Ministry of Interior denied rumors about suspending article 17 passports, stressing they are still valid and can be used. Notably, some leaked reports mentioned suspending article 17 passports issued to bedoons until the law on the situation of illegal residents currently being reviewed by the parliament is passed.

The sources added that article 17 passports are still being issued to bedoons travelling for study or treatment abroad, under the same previous rules that applicants hold valid security IDs issued by the central apparatus for illegal residents, explain why they need the passport and attach all needed documents with their applications.

Postal service
The Ministry of Services recently received a memo from the Fatwa and Legislation Department approving a project the ministry had prepared on privatizing the postal sector through establishing the Kuwait Post Company, said official sources, noting that the proposal had been referred to the department several months earlier pending referral to the parliament for voting.

“This project is part of the state development plan designed to improve governmental services,” the sources added, pointing out that the fatwa department gave its legal opinion about the founding of the new company and transferring the postal services’ assets and employees from the ministry to work for it. The sources added that turning the postal sector into a government company run by the private sector will help develop postal services, avoid shortcomings and help get rid of bureaucracy.

Fighting corruption
Minister of State for Services and Minister of State for Assembly Affairs Mubarak Al-Harees announced working on taking the measures needed to fight corruption and limiting it by activating the role played by the auditing and inspection department. “This step comes in response to the instructions of HH the Amir and HH the Prime Minister and moves by the Cabinet to achieve reform and fight corruption in various government establishments,” Harees said.

He noted that the Cabinet had issued resolution number 283 that urged all government bodies to establish auditing and inspection departments to follow up and supervise all work related to financial and administrative affairs and coordinate with relative audit bodies with the ultimate goal of protecting public funds.

“Although the resolution was made years ago, it was not activated,” Harees noted, adding that he will be directly responsible for the department and that it will submit periodic reports to him on the progress of various development projects, achievements and remarks of the State Audit Bureau so that those responsible for any shortcomings could be held accountable.