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Qatar strengthening its institutions

March 06, 2014 - 5:01:48 am
Last month’s decisions on the organisational structures of ministries and state institutions were part of the process of building a state of institutions, which His Highness talked about when he took office in June last year. The Emir, in his speech, emphasised there would be an announcement on a plan for reorganising and restructuring ministries and governmental institutions in order to put an end to duplication and overlapping of work. The process also aims to bring all public activities under the clear mandate of specific ministries. 

This is the project the Father Emir referred to in his speech addressing the Advisory Council members at the inauguration of the 41st session of the council in November 2012. His Highness underlined the importance of restructuring the state’s administrative apparatus in order to remove duality and contradictions among the various ministries. Duality and contradictions, the Father Emir said, mean spending more money, overcrowding of employees and complicating matters for citizens and investors. 

The restructuring of ministries and institutions brings a new phase to Qatar’s administrative apparatus. This phase helps the administrative apparatus cope with the latest at the local and regional levels. It also relieves administrative burdens on this apparatus. These burdens had crippled this apparatus and prevented its progress for a long time. Qatar’s administrative apparatus was plagued by routine for a long time. The work of some ministries always contradicted the work of other ministries. This prevented these ministries and government institutions from providing solutions to everyday problems in many sectors. This used to give citizens, residents and even investors a hard time. 

It is necessary for the administrative and executive apparatus in our country to have a clear vision. Clarity of vision helps ministries and state institutions do their work in an innovative manner. At the same time, these ministries and state institutions shoulder their responsibilities towards the state and society better when there are no foggy areas as far as their responsibilities and missions are concerned. Nobody will be able to shirk their responsibilities in case of a failure under the pretext that other people are responsible for the failure. 

When the missions of the various ministries are similar or contradictory, a lot of public funds are squandered. This is a major loss for the state, as the squandered funds can be used in other fields to bolster the role of the state in offering services to citizens. 

It is important that we know where each riyal is spent in our country, why it is spent and what is the return from spending it. It is inappropriate that we do not have the necessary evaluation, follow-up and accountability mechanisms, particularly at this stage. 

It is true that the government will not brook any delay in providing funds necessary for projects as long as these projects benefit citizens and our country at the end of the day. The government will spend lavishly as long as the results lead to the progress of society and boost our state at the local, regional and international levels. We have seen all this already in projects sponsored by the state. At the same time, spending one riyal away from its rightful place is a kind of extravagance that requires reconsideration. 

But this is not the responsibility of just the supervisory agencies in our country. It is also the responsibility of everybody else. Protecting public funds is the responsibility of everybody. We should not deal with this matter lightly. We are talking here about the wealth of our country; the wealth of the coming generations of this country. We should not deal with the spending of this wealth lightly until we make sure that the return from the money we spend equals the value of the money. 

It is true that the restructuring of ministries and governmental institutions will usher in a more active administrative body that makes more moves that are dynamic in ways that cope with the needs of the current stage. The state is working on a number of major projects, particularly in the economic, investment, sport, health and educational fields ... etc; and all these projects need to be accurately implemented. However, accuracy of implementation will never be ushered in as long as there is duplication and contradiction in the work of state institutions. 

The job of each state institution must be defined clearly. We have many challenges ahead and these challenges make it necessary for us to prepare public and private institutions. We also need to equip individuals properly so that they can have the ability to deal with these challenges properly.

I think the administrative apparatus of our country is close to entering a new stage. This new stage will reflect positively on the implementation of projects as well as on dealings in state institutions and ministries. Restructuring will reduce a large part of the routine in state institutions. It will also facilitate procedures for ordinary people. 

There is huge optimism as far as the reorganising of ministries and the administrative apparatus is concerned. There is also confidence that the days to come will witness more achievements for our state, achievements aspired by citizens and looked forward to by our country. 

“Qatar has become a state of institutions,” our Emir said. “Each ministry, institution and agency has to carry out its duty in the light of the law, regardless of the person who manages it,” he added. 

We are on the threshold of a new phase of work and achievements, regardless of the expectations from the people who can be nominated to take over specific positions in ministries. Competent people are needed in each ministry and state institution. These people will also get priority in employment. 

We are all required to work harder, given the huge challenges we have ahead of us. Nations that want to be at the front must be ready to face challenges and achieve a lot. Qatar has always proven that it is up to all challenges. This is why we are optimistic that a new stage of construction and hard work will start here.