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Saudi anti-corruption commission says 10 ministries broke hiring rules

Corruption probe into illegal hiring of minister's son widen following social media reports

Image Credit: Ali Al Mubarak/ArabianEye/Corbis
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Manama: An investigation launched by a Saudi anti-corruption watchdog concluded that 10 ministries illegally hired Saudi nationals.

Publishing a summary of its findings, the Saudi National Anti-Corruption Commission, known as ‘Nazaha’ (Arabic for integrity), said that it conducted a fact-finding probe into allegations that a ministry illegally hired the son of a minister and offered him a high salary.

“The investigation was launched following the claims made on social media about the irregular hiring of the son of a minister by the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs,” Nazaha said in a statement published by Saudi daily Okaz on Monday. “The probe found out that the hiring was on the basis of a temporary contract within a programme to attract competent skills. However, the ministry did not abide by the rules and conditions stipulated in the programme and it did not consult with the Ministry of Civil Service over the salary to be paid and which must commensurate with the professional experience and the specialization. The ministry did not request the medical check-up required from anyone to be hired and did not comply with the minimum age condition, which must be at least 33 years.”

Nazaha said that based on the information it received from social media about similar irregularities by other ministries, it decided to widen its scope and include other public departments in its investigations.

“The probes found that 10 ministries did not commit to the hiring policies and failed to comply with some of the rules. Irregularities were found in the Ministry of Housing, the Ministry of Economy and Planning, the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Transportation, the Ministry of Culture and Information, the Ministry of Commerce and Investment, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Labour and Social Development, and the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology,” he said.

Nazaha said that it submitted a fully-detailed report about its findings to the king.

“We thank all the media, journalists and social media users for their interaction with the commission and with the issues under its responsibilities for the sake of national interests,” Nazaha said. “We look forward to all citizens and to residents reporting to us any suspicion about irregularities because we see them as important partners in carrying out our work.”

Nazaha, the governmental authority entrusted with protecting integrity and combating corruption in Saudi Arabia, was established in 2011 as an entirely independent authority that reports only to the King.

Nazaha says that it aims to create a work environment of integrity, transparency, honesty, justice and equality in the bodies that fall within its jurisdiction or specialisation.