In order to fulfill the directives of our wise leadership and out of the sense of national duty, Umm Al-Qura University organized a seminar, in cooperation with the General Court of Audit, represented by the Saudi Center for Financial and Performance Auditing, entitled: “Public Funds Are a Trust”. The seminar was held last Wednesday, under the auspices of the UQU President, Prof. Moaddi bin Muhammad Aal Madh-hab, for the UQU affiliates with the participation of the Advisor and the Director General of the Saudi Center for Financial and Performance Auditing at the General Court of Audit as well as an elite group of specialists.
This event comes within the responsibility of the General Court of Audit with regard to public fund protection, which has taken the lead in boosting self-censorship and methods of protecting public funds that are considered one of the fundamental pillars of all state agencies. The seminar was enriched by the participation of an elite group of specialists who spoke on several topics, including the concept and preservation of public funds from the perspective of the Shari`ah. It also provided a full explanation on the role of regulatory authorities and of promoting self-censorship among individuals in protecting public funds.
On his part, His Eminence Prof. Ali Al-Hudhaifi explained the jurists' opinions regarding the funds allocated to the public, noting that in Islamic law there are five necessities: preservation of religion, life, intellect, lineage and wealth. "By protecting public funds, the nation will be protected from destruction and will become prestigious, not needing those who exploit its resources and extort its benefits. This is because money is the cornerstone of the state which directly influences the progress of its projects," he expounded.
After this talk, Prof. Hashem Al-Samdani tackled the trust of public funds from the perspective of national belonging. He explained that the good citizen must preserve the nation's properties and gains and also explore ways to develop his nation that faced difficulties and overcame challenges to harness its resources for him and raise his level of welfare. He added that national affiliation is achieved by complying with laws and regulations and preserving the nation's heritage, passing it from one generation to another and thereby helping to strengthen unity, loyalty and patriotism.
Next, Prof. Ihsan Al-Mu`taz introduced the efforts of the General Court of Audit in protecting the state properties in all regions of the Saudi Kingdom, referring to the quality and efficiency that distinguished the efforts of the court. That is to be added to its competence in controlling and reviewing all state revenues and expenditures, preserving all types of cash and movable funds, and ensuring proper use of such funds in line with the administrative, financial and accounting regulations in force, according to their specific rules. He stressed the importance of cooperation with all parties concerned with protecting the public funds, since they are the property of everyone. This is because any assault on public funds is an assault on the property of all citizens, a fact which drives us to unify our ranks to fight it.
Prof. Ihsan's introduction was followed by the speech of the Advisor and the Director General of the Saudi Center for Financial and Performance Auditing, Dr. Salim Al-Ghamdi, who noted that the regulatory authorities include the General Court of Audit and the Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority. Moreover, he explained that recent studies indicated that the government which launched the procedures must be supported by boosting students behavior and turning the attention of the youth to the importance of preserving public funds for the coming generation, who represent the future, will bear the trust, and will shoulder the responsibility with regard to public fund preservation. This generation, he continued, will have the power to build the Saudi Kingdom's glory, maintain its position, save its resources, and protect the integrity of public work.
At the close of the seminar, the inquiries of the attendees were answered and their suggestions were noted. Finally, the attendees and all other participants expressed their appreciation of the university's efforts and effective role in spreading awareness, boosting knowledge and national belonging, and spreading the culture of zero tolerance with corruption, considering it a violation against the nation.