‘Exemption lead to indifference, lack of commitment to attendance’

KUWAIT: The Civil Service Commission (CSC) is the only state department supervising the implementation of the official seven-hour workday in the public sector with no exceptions for any government body, government insiders said. Any exemptions made due to certain circumstances or job nature will open the doors for more exemptions in other government bodies, said the sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity. This would take things back to square one and lead to indifference and lack of commitment to attendance and work in government bodies, especially since the process directly affects annual performance evaluation and the payment of excellent performance bonuses, the sources remarked.

Commenting on the Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) yielding to protests and deciding not to comply with the official seven-hour workday, the sources stressed that CSC had not received any letters from MEW requesting exemption of its employees from the new system. The sources added that once such a letter is received, it would be reviewed by the Civil Service Council for its opinion, and not to approve the exemption. The sources said that biometric access control systems in 22 out of a total of 48 state departments have been linked with CSC’s integrated systems program, adding that not being linked does not mean exempting the unlinked bodies from official working hours.

Labor regulations
Well-informed sources said that Minister of State for Economic Affairs Mariam Al-Aqeel will soon meet with the Public Authority for Manpower’s deputy directors to review their sectors’ work plans for this year as well as labor market regulations due to be announced soon. The sources added that new resolutions will be reviewed by the minister prior to approval and issuance, noting that the new resolutions will help counter visa traffickers, fake companies and those recruiting expats and leaving them as marginal laborers in the local market.

Article 17 passports
The directorate general of citizenship and passports announced suspending the issue of article 17 passports for two weeks with exceptions for those needed to travel for study or medical treatment. In this regard, security sources justified the suspension by the need to find a working team that is more capable on dealing with accumulating applications to accelerate the issuance process.

Cold wave
Meteorologist Essa Ramadan forecast a temporary cold wave to start today and last through the weekend, adding that temperatures would be 1-4 degrees centigrade in desert areas and 6-9 degrees centigrade in urban areas at dawn. He also expected maximum temperatures to be 12-16 degrees before going back to normal by midweek.

Mutlaa city
Minister of Public Works and Minister of State for Housing Affairs Jenan Bushehri urged the Cabinet to approve contracting the second lowest bidder in the tender of constructing, developing and maintaining roads and intersections serving Mutlaa city. Bushehri send a letter to the Cabinet Secretary General Abdullatif Al-Roudhan about the disagreement between the Public Authority for Roads and Transportation (PART) and the State Audit Bureau concerning this particular tender. Meanwhile, informed sources said many committees had been formed to investigate various roads tenders and projects, including gravel problems.

By A Saleh