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Prince Khalifa Bin Salman of Bahrain plays pivotal role for transparency
July 15, 2013 9:36 by kippreport
By Christian Malard
One ought to pay tribute to His Royal Highness Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa. If there is a high political figure that decided to be the guarantor of the fight against corruption in the Kingdom of Bahrain, it is him.
Anyone looking closely at the exploits of this man cannot but notice his achievements internally in some of the Kingdom’s areas. He recently gave instructions to the concerned governmental bodies to thoroughly examine any irregularities pointed out by the National Audit Court.
The head of government—who wants the small Kingdom to be a model for economical development — has engaged in a fight that aims to protect public money by multiplying and reinforcing auditing operations in all ministries and state organisations, so that they take the necessary measures to prevent violations and waste of public funds.
For the prime minister, the most important target is to guarantee good management and absolute transparency. The last meeting that he had recently with the National Audit Court is a starting point in the national fight for transparency and probity.
For His Royal Highness, the National Audit Court has become a necessity for the proper functioning of business in Bahrain, and for its government’s credibility.
The Kingdom of Bahrain has experience in financial control, which is based on two main aspects: the legal aspect, based on the promulgation of the law on ‘financial disclosure’, which applies to ministers and senior officials, and the institutional aspect, through the creation of the ‘Tender Board’ that protects public money in tendering and public procurement. On the other hand, the National Audit Court was established to serve as an institution that is financially and administratively independent of the legislative and executive powers and, responsible for controlling public funds and ensuring the legitimacy of their use for general interests.
Prince Khalifa bin Salman played a major role in this field. Indeed, he oversaw the implementation of laws and the facilitation of the mission of the Tender Board and the National Audit Court. The concrete evidence of this commitment is reflected in the instructions given to the competent bodies to examine the observations and violations mentioned in the 2011-2012 annual report of the National Audit Court, and take the necessary steps to use public money for areas to which it is dedicated, to continue the approach followed by the government for preserving public money, promoting self-control and avoiding misappropriation of public funds.
This is in fact what the prime minister declared, upon receipt of the report: “The government supports all aspects of controlling public money in order to avoid any fraud or breach”. This can be achieved by the government through the consideration and implementation of the observations and recommendations of the National Audit Court, as well as through self-control within government bodies, and through the establishment of mechanisms and initiatives that preserve public money and ensure good governance, transparency and integrity in government operations.
Moreover, the prime minister issued a decree setting up restrictions on financial operations of various government departments and agencies, in order to promote financial administration, internal control and the principles of transparency, competence and efficiency within ministries and government bodies.
The prime minister has showed his desire to guarantee control and rationalisation of expenditure in the Kingdom, noting that many government institutions have already made progress in this field in accordance with the laws. To this end, he created the commission in charge of control, rationalisation and of promoting income and productivity in ministries, in order to study and implement policies, programs and mechanisms to ensure better control, streamline public expenditure, and raise the level of income and productivity as well as to achieve optimum use of financial income.
The international community has highlighted the prominent role played by this man. In 2007, he received the UN Habitat Award for his efforts in helping the poor in rural and urban areas. It was given as a reward to the prime minister in order to improve the living standards of all Bahrainis without any distinction by limiting poverty, and ensuring the development of the country and preserving its cultural heritage.
Moreover, it should be noted that UNESCO has also awarded HRH with the gold Ibn Sina medal for his support towards the promotion of culture and heritage, as well as humanitarian activities of UNESCO in the field of educational development.
In short, the prime minister has decided to work in total tandem with the authority represented by the National Audit Court, in order to cope with future economic and social challenges.