The cabinet discussed and approved most of the 65 items on the agenda. The new (public sector) working hours were approved as such: from seven thirty in the morning until three fifteen in the afternoon from Monday to Thursday and on Friday from eight in the morning until eleven in the morning.
Question: Were there any objections on the changes to working hours?
Abu Assi: There were no objections.
There were discussions on some issues and this is something normal. Things are moving towards setting criteria on several subjects, and this is a good thing to clarify things and end ambiguities.
Question: What about the objections of the Ministers of the Free Patriotic Movement on issues related to the Ministry of Public Works?
Abu Assi: The Free Patriotic Movement ministers objected on the principle, and there were reservations from Ministers of the Lebanese Forces on the same subject because there is no clarity regarding the solicitation of bids.
The question was why don't things happen by tender? The Minister of Public Works explained his point of view and there was a consensus on defining the criteria, how tenders will be solicited, companies ranked and in which framework. The issue is clear in article 145 of the public accountability act on determining how to conduct a tender and the more we go into clearer criteria the more the work will be clear and transparent.
Question: How many sessions will the cabinet hold?
Abu Assi: When we are asked to attend we attend.
Question: What are the most important items approved?
Abu Assi: All 65 items are important. The cabinet approved an item related to the ministry of social affairs regarding the biometric card for the social services centers and I was very pleased that this issue ended well.
Question: Did the cabinet approve the item related to the syndicate of editors?
Abu Assi: The issue was postponed until the return of the Minister of Information Melhem Riachi.