Shoura works out scheme for transparency

RIYADH: The Shoura Council agreed Monday to work out a scheme that would ensure more administrative transparency and accountability of public servants in the Kingdom.

Shoura Council Secretary-General Muhammad Al-Ghamdi said the members discussed at length how civil servants should be made accountable for decisions in their daily administrative functions. The secretary-general said the council also discussed Saudization among the companies located within the industrial cities of Yanbu and Jubail. “They felt that a mechanism should be found to accommodate local human resources while phasing out expatriate workers in the Kingdom,” he said.

Going through a report based on suggestions from the Saudi Council of Engineers and Saudi Council of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the house said it needs more time to deliberate another proposal to make insurance mandatory for engineers and designers. In the morning, Shoura Council Deputy Chairman Bandar bin Mohammed Hamzah Hajjar received a delegation from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Faraj Fneish, head of the Middle East and North Africa Department at the UN High Commission for Human Rights, who is currently in the capital, discussed matters of mutual interests with the Shoura members. During the meeting, Hajjar briefed the delegation on the efforts exerted by the Kingdom under its current leadership. Emphasizing the Kingdom’s concern on preserving human rights, he told the visiting team that the council had appointed more than one committee to discuss issues related to human rights protection in the Kingdom.

Hajjar also briefed the delegation on the functions of the council. On his part, Fneish pointed out that the visit aimed at enhancing relations between the OHCHR and the Shoura Council. More than 300 petitions on human rights are being studied by the Shoura Council, according to Ibrahim Al-Sheddi, chairman of the Committee on Human Rights of the Shoura Council.

He said that the members of the public are welcome to send their grievances and ideas on issues related to human rights. “They will be useful for our study and we can make use of them for future policy planning and implementation,” he added. On instructions of Abdullah Al-Asheikh, chairman of the Shoura Council, an 11-member committee headed by Al-Sheddi was formed early this year to look into the rights problems in the Kingdom. Al-Sheddi said the council also takes the advice and assistance from visiting foreign delegations. The council was able to achieve a great deal in attending to the petitions, he stressed.

“We are also finding out a permanent mechanism to provide an effective platform for the citizens to deal with human rights problems highlighted by the people in the Kingdom,” Al-Sheddi added – Arabnews