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Cabinet approves draft law merging Water Authority, Ministry of Water

By JT - Feb 16,2020 - Last updated at Feb 16,2020

AMMAN — In its session on Sunday headed by Prime Minister Omar Razzaz, the Cabinet approved a draft law amending the Law on Restructuring Governmental Institutions and Departments for the year 2020.

The amendment aims to merge the Water Authority of Jordan and transfer its functions to the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, in implementation of what was stated in the second package of the government's economic programme related to administrative reform, with the aim of raising the level of performance and rationalising expenditures.

The amendment also aims to reorganise the water sector and standardise decision-making at the Ministry of Water and Irrigation and the Jordan Valley Authority, as well as prevent overlap, reduce costs and institutionalise work, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

According to the draft law, the Ministry of Water and Irrigation will exercise all the functions and powers of the Water Authority and its board of directors as stipulated in the Water Authority Law.

The draft law also stipulates that the phrases “Ministry of Water and Irrigation” and “Secretary General of the Ministry of Water and Irrigation” shall replace the phrases “Water Authority” and “Secretary General of the Authority” respectively, wherever they are mentioned in any other legislation.

Lawmakers and citizens, who have been calling for administrative reform, have been demanding merges for years, Petra noted. 

These demands were answered by Razzaz in November of 2019, when he announced a series of measures and executive packages aimed at stimulating the economy, based on the directives of His Majesty King Abdullah, who instructed the government to embark on an economic programme.

One of the decisions taken within the programme to help reduce the burden on the 2020 state budget entailed merging and cancelling independent public institutions whose spheres of authority are already overlapping with those of other ministries and public entities and which fall under the umbrella of larger public bodies.

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