The Cabinet has approved a draft law on the Shura Council, Qatar News Agency (QNA) reports. The draft law, which contains various provisions, has been referred to the Shura Council. This came at the Cabinet's regular meeting chaired by HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz al-Thani at the Amiri Diwan on Wednesday.
Following the meeting, HE the Minister of Justice and Acting Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Dr Issa bin Saad al-Jafali al-Nuaimi issued a statement giving the details of the proceedings. The draft law includes provisions relating to the following:
The emphasis on the independence of the financial and administrative council as the constitutional institution that undertakes legislation and oversight of the executive authority.
Organising the legal status of a member of the Shura Council, whether in terms of the rights assigned to him, or the duties and prohibitions. With regard to the rights, the draft law organises and guarantees the rights of the council's members to express an opinion, immunity in criminal proceedings, and job retention rules for members working in government agencies, as well as exempting them from some job situations and ensuring their return to their job after the membership ends.
The law also regulates the remuneration of the president, vice-president and members. This remuneration is estimated in proportion to the duties of the membership and the requirements of full-time commitment to it, in light of the duties and prohibitions imposed, and in proportion to the tasks of each of the president, vice-president and members.
As for the duties and prohibitions, which the constitution requires to be regulated by law, the draft law clarify them as follows:
* The obligation to disclose cases of conflict of interest, property and sources of income and to report gifts.
* The members' transactions and actions should be done at a fair price, without including in the estimate of this price the status of the member.
* Establishing controls regarding a member's access to credit facilities.
* Prohibition of a member's dealings with government agencies except in accordance with the principles of transparency, equal opportunities and freedom of competition.
* The draft law also prohibits HE the Shura Council Speaker and his deputy from engaging in any commercial activity or non-commercial profession.
* Likewise, a member of the council is prohibited from any professional, commercial or other work or activity, in a manner that contradicts the duties and requirements of membership.
"Reflecting the status of the elected council and its independence, the draft law guarantees the council the independent competence to draw up and approve its budget, and for its employees to have a special regulation for human resources," QNA says.
One of the main provisions included in the new draft law is to ensure that the current internal regulations of the Shura Council continue to operate in a manner that does not conflict with the conditions of the elected council, so that the elected council assumes its competencies and powers, immediately after its election and without delay, until it sets its new internal regulations.