Saudi Arabia’s Shura seeks new quality criteria for govt agencies

Council took the decision in a step to bolster the Board of Public Monitoring in evaluating performance of government and public agencies

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Saudi Arabia’s Shura Council on Tuesday called for framing new quality criteria and performance indexes for government agencies and public utility undertakings.

The Council session, chaired by its Deputy President Muhammad Al-Jafri, took the decision in a step to bolster the Board of Public Monitoring in evaluating the performance of the government and public agencies under its jurisdiction, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Several members expressed their viewpoints and opinions with regard to the annual report of the board, presented by Dr. Thuraya Obeid, chairperson of the committee for human rights and monitoring agencies.

Yahya Al-Samaan, assistant president of the Council, said that the session called all the agencies that come under the purview of the board to complete the rules for their accountability mechanism and link them with the board’s online system.
Two years ago, the Council took a decision with regard to enforcing uniformity in the case of employees and parity in their pay scale at the Board of Public Monitoring, National Anti-Corruption Commission and the Board of Monitoring and Investigation, Al-Samaan pointed out.

While taking part in deliberations over the report of the committee for culture, media, tourism and antiquities with regard to the annual report of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, several members called for building more infrastructure facilities in the domestic tourism sector. Some of them demanded incentives to attract investors to this vital sector while others underlined the need for intensifying monitoring of hotels to bring down higher rates.

A woman member called on the SCTNH to give more importance to preserving Islamic tourist sites and antiquities in the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah, as well as those in Taif.

“The allocations made in the commission’s budget for awareness programs are higher than appropriations for the tourism promotion,” another member said.

This article first appeared in the Saudi Gazette on Jan. 6, 2016.