x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Fewa employees quizzed by bosses for sending information to FNC

uring a council session in December, the Minister of Energy, Mohammed Al Hamili, and the Director General of the authority, Mohammed Saleh, were questioned by members about what they considered to be Fewa's shortcomings.

ABU DHABI // Employees of the Federal Electricity and Water Authority are being questioned by management for sending information to the FNC, a member told the council.

During a council session in December, the Minister of Energy, Mohammed Al Hamili, and the Director General of the authority, Mohammed Saleh, were questioned by members about what they considered to be Fewa's shortcomings.

Issues raised included electricity shortages and cuts, poor water quality and employment practices.

Afra Al Basti (Dubai) read out emails sent to the council by authority employees, saying they highlighted management's disregard for employees.

Members asked for the protection of Emirati employees - who make up more than quarter of the authority's staff - and for their complaints to be addressed.

But Ms Al Basti said at this week's FNC session that the employees who forwarded the emails to the council had been "questioned" and "investigated" by their managers.

"We ask for employees who deal with the FNC to be protected if they give us information that is not sensitive but related to the way employees are being dealt with, and the relationship of management with junior employees," she said. "We asked for their protection from abuse."

Ms Al Basti said it was unfair for staff to be subjected to such treatment for co-operating with the council.

"Whenever the FNC asks to get into a dialogue with them, they are free and protected," she said. "What we are asking for is what happens afterwards."

Council members agreed this was a problem and asked the Minister of State for FNC Affairs, Dr Anwar Gargash, about how their recommendations were dealt with by the Cabinet, and how they could speed up the process in time-sensitive cases.

Dr Gargash said his ministry would look into a new way of prioritising certain recommendations.

"For things that are time sensitive, then this would be very good," he said. "We will look into this and speak to the general secretariat of the council."

He said in most cases, FNC recommendations were passed by the Cabinet.

In cases when council members and the minister in question disagreed, the Cabinet would look into the recommendations in more detail, Dr Gargash added.

osalem@thenational.ae