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Duplication in ministries and institutions

December 05, 2013 - 4:07:58 am

Precise integration of and coordination between ministries and state institutions are essential for providing better services, effective implementation of plans, achieving goals, and saving money, energy and time. At the same time, duplication of work and interference in the functioning of ministries and institutions has the opposite effect of hindering plans and wasting time and energy, which in turn are detrimental to achieving the sustainable development we seek to realise our national vision. 

Therefore, our wise leadership and judicious government are eager to define the functions and specialisations of each ministry and institution in the light of the clear directives of the Emir regarding the necessity of restructuring ministries and defining their functions clearly so that the interests of the people are served. 

The citizens, however, feel the response from the majority of the ministries and state institutions as far as this important demand is concerned has been weak. These agencies have failed to live up to the expectations of the leadership and the people.

Duplication and interference characterise the way these institutions deal with the problems of the state and citizens. This is why most of the work and services are obstructed and delayed, leading to waste of precious time and effort of citizens and expatriates due to ambivalence in decision making, disorganisation, interference by the authorities, and the lack of a clear vision. This is a waste of the time and efforts of ordinary citizens who go to these institutions to finalise some paperwork or simply to get the signatures of officials. 

We have all heard, seen or even experienced how files or papers go missing. Ambivalence and overlapping of responsibilities still bedevil every employee or citizen who seeks to get some work done and goes here and there while wondering aloud: “Where are we supposed to go? Where is the concerned authority?”

It is interesting to see that the names of some ministries and institutions are similar, and denote duplication of work. Such duplication can be clearly noted between the Ministry of Education and the Supreme Education Council, and the Ministry of Health and the Supreme Council of Health. We are still waiting for the prime minister’s decision finalising the restructuring of ministries. To be honest, we are fed up with this unjustified situation and confusion in determining the job of state entities.

To know how people are suffering due to contradictory decisions one can listen to the popular radio programme Watani Al Habib Sabah Al Khair (“Good morning my beloved country”) on a daily basis. We may need to take into account that prolonging this problem allows officials to deny any responsibility for mistakes and blame each other, all while citizens remain without solutions to their problems. 

Worse still, such a situation provides the ideal environment for administrative corruption. We have confidence our decision-makers know the danger and the dimensions of what we are talking about here.

 

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