The Law of Regions
This Law shall aim at improving the standard of administrative work and development in the Kingdom. It shall also aim at the preservation of Law and Order, the right of citizens and their freedom within the framework of Islamic Shari’ah.
The Kingdom’s Regions and the headquarters of the administrative body “Imarah” of each shall be organized by a Royal Order upon the recommendation of the Minister of Interior.
In respect to administration, each Region shall be made up of a number of Governorates (Class A and Class B) and Centers (Class A and Class B). This division shall take into consideration the population, geography, security, environment and means of transportation. The Governorates shall be organized by a Royal Order upon the recommendation of the Minister of Interior on the basis of a proposal from the Governor of the Region.
Each Region shall have a Governor with the rank of “Minister” and shall have a Vice-Governor at the “excellent grade” who shall assist the Governor in the discharge of his duties and act as a substitute for him during his absence. Governors and their Vice-Governors shall be appointed and relieved by a Royal decree upon the recommendation of the Minister of Interior.
The Governor of the Region shall answer to the Minister of Interior.
The Governor and the Vice-Governor shall take the following oath before the King prior to their assumption of their duties:
“I swear by Almighty God that I shall be loyal to my religion, then to my King and country; shall not divulge any secrets of the State, shall uphold its interests and respect its Law, shall perform my duties in goof faith, honesty, sincerity and equity”
Each Governor shall administer his Region according to the State’s general policy, the provisions of this Law and other Laws and regulations. He shall be required in particular to:
- Preserve Law, order, and stability and take necessary measures in this connection according to Laws and regulations.
- Implement the judicial rules after their final endorsement.
- Protect the right of individuals and their freedoms, and desist from any act that may compromise their rights and freedoms except within limits prescribed by the Law.
- Work for the development of the Region in social, economic and urban terms.
- Work for development of the public service in the Region and enhancement of their efficiency.
- Manage the Governorates and centers and supervise the Governors of Governorates and directors of centers, to ascertain their competence in performing their duties.
- Preserve the State’s assets and property and prevent encroachment.
- Supervise Government departments and their personnel in the Region to ascertain their performance of their duties properly, honestly and with diligence. Employees of different Ministries and Government departments, who work in the Region, shall be answerable to their own Ministries and departments.
- Make direct contacts with Ministers and heads of Government departments for discussion of affairs of the Region with a view to promoting the performance of the bodies answerable to them. The Minister of Interior shall be acquainted with these contacts.
- Submit annual reports to the Minister of Interior on, among other things, the efficiency of public utilities in the Region according to the executive rules of this Law.
An annual meeting shall be held by Regional Governors under the Chairmanship of the Minister of Interior to discuss issues related to Regions.
The Governor of each Region shall hold biannual meetings for the Governors of Governorates to discuss matters of interest to the Region. The Region’s Governor shall submit a report thereon to the Minister of Interior.
- One or more deputy Governors shall be appointed for each Region at a grade not less than “14”. The appointment shall be by cabinet resolution upon the recommendation of the Minister of Interior.
- Each class “A” Governorate shall have a Governor at a grade not less than “14”. He shall be appointed upon order of the Prime Minister as recommended by the Minister of Interior upon the recommendation of their Regional Governor.
- Each class “B” Governorate shall have a Governor at a grade not less than “12”. He shall be appointed upon order of the Prime Minister as recommended by the Minister of Interior upon the recommendation of their Regional Governor.
- Each class “A” center shall have a director at a grade not less than “8”. He shall be appointed upon order of the Prime Minister as recommended by the Minister of Interior upon the recommendation of their Regional Governor.
Regional Governors, Governors of Governorates and directors of centers shall reside at their place of work and shall not leave it without the permission of their immediate superiors.
Governor of Governorates and directors of centers shall perform their duties within the administrative framework of their respective authorities, and within the limits of the powers vested in them.
Governors of Governorates shall run their Governorates within the framework of the function outlined in article 70 (with the exception of provisions f, I, j). They shall monitor the works of the heads of centers answerable to them ascertain their ability to handle their duties efficiently, and shall submit performance reports of public services and other matters with which the Governorate is concerned in accordance with what is stipulated under the executive regulation of this Law.
Each Ministry of Government Agency providing services to the Region shall appoint an official at the head of its bodies in the Region with a rank not less than grade “12”. He shall report directly to the parent Ministry or Agency and shall operate in close coordination with the Governor of the Region.
Each Region shall have a Region Council with its offices installed at the headquarters of the Region’s Governorate.
The “Regional Council” shall consist of:
- The Governor as Chairman
- The deputy-Governor as Vice-Chairman
- Governorate “wakil”
- Heads of the Region’s official bodies which shall be specified in a resolution to be passed by the Council
Ministers on the recommendation of the Governor and approval by the Minister of Interior.
- A number of locals (not less than 10) judged as eligible in terms of learning, experience and specialization and appointed by order of the Prime Minister upon the Governor’s recommendation and the approval of the Minister of Interior with a renewable four-year membership term.
A Council member shall satisfy the following:
- To be a Saudi National both by descent and upbringing.
- To be of proven integrity and ability.
- Not to be less than 30 years of age.
- To have his place of residence in the Region.
A member may submit in writing to the Chairman of the Region’s Council any proposals falling within the Council’s jurisdiction. The Chairman shall place each proposal on the Council’s agenda for discussion.
A member of the Region’s Council shall not attend deliberations of any of its committees when dealing with a matter of personal interest to him or to anyone whose testimony in his favor is unacceptable, or if the member is a guardian or agent of one who has a stake therein.
If a member wishes to resign he shall submit an application to this end to the Minister of Interior through the Region Governor. The resignation shall not be considered valid unless endorsed by the prime Minister on recommendation from the Minister of Interior.
In all cases other than those specified in this Law, a nominated member may not be dismissed during his term of membership unless by order of the prime Minister on recommendation from the Minister of Interior.
If the seat of a nominated member is rendered vacant for any reason, a substitute shall be appointed within three months from the vacancy date. The new member shall hold office or a period equal to the remainder of his predecessor’s term.
The Regional Council shall have the competence to discuss all that is conductive to improving service standards in the Region and shall be entitled in particular to:
- Determine the needs of the Region and propose their inclusion into the State’s development plan.
- Determine what projects are useful, arrange them in order of priority and propose their adoption as part of the annual State budget.
- Study the Region’s urban and rural organizations layouts and follow up their implementation after being adopted.
- Follow up the implementation and coordination of those parts of the development and budget plans related to the Region.
The Region’s Council shall propose and submit to the Minister of Interior any move calculated to serve the general good of the Region’s resident population and shall encourage citizens, contribution thereto.
The reign’s Council may not overstep its area of competence as determined under this Law, otherwise its resolution shall be considered null and void and a resolution to this end shall be issued by the Minister of Interior.
The Region’s Council shall hold a three-month ordinary session at the invitation of its Chairman who also may invite the Council to convene an extraordinary meeting if he deems that necessary.
The members of the Region’s Council specifies in items “c” and “d” of Article 16 of this Law shall attend the meetings of the Council ex-officio. They shall attend meetings in person, or by proxy in case of being absent from work. As to the members specified in item “e” of the said Article, failure by one of them to attend two successive sessions without an acceptable excuse shall be considered good reason for his dismissal from the Council. In this case the dismissed member may not be eligible for reappointment except after the lapse of two years from the date of issue of the decision of his dismissal.
Meetings of the Region’s Council shall be considered in order only if attended by at least two thirds of Council members. Council resolutions shall be issued by absolute majority of the votes. Should the votes be equally divided, the Chairman shall have the casting vote.
The Region’s Council may set up, when the need arises, special committees to study any matter falling within its jurisdiction, and if may seek help of people of experience and specialists. Likewise it may invite whomever it wishes to attend Council meetings and participate in the deliberations without having the right to vote.
The Minister of Interior shall have the right to call the Council to meet under his Chairmanship in any place he may choose. Likewise h shall have the right to preside at any meeting he may attend.
The Region’s Council may convene only at the request of its Chairman or Vice-Chairman or by order of the Minister of Interior.
The Chairman of the Council shall submit a copy of its resolution to the Minister of Interior.
The Chairman of the Council shall inform the Ministries and Governmental Agencies of Council’s resolution which have a direct bearing on them.
Ministers and Government Agencies shall pay due regard to what is stated in terms “a” and “b” of Article 23 of this Law. If the Ministry or Governmental Agency concerned finds any such resolution unacceptable, it shall have to explain to the Region’s Council the reasons on which its objection is based. Should the Region’s Council remains unimpressed, it may refer the matter to the Minister of Interior to put it before the prime Minister.
Each Ministry or Governmental Agency which maintains services of its own in the Region shall inform the Region’s Council, the moment the State budget is issued, of the project allocated to it in the said budget and also of what has been decided for it to obtain under the development plan.
Each Minister or Governmental Agency head may sound out the Region’s Council on any matter pertaining to its area of competence and the Council shall give its opinion as requested.
The prime Minister, acting upon a proposal from the Minister of Interior, shall fix the bonuses of the Chairman and members of the Region’s Council. In the assessment of these bonuses due regard shall be paid to transportation and dwelling costs.
The Region’s Council shall not be dissolved except by order of the prime Minister, based on a proposal from the Minister of Interior. The Council shall be re-constituted within three months from the dissolution date. In the interim the members specified in items “c” and “d” of article 16 of this Law shall exercise the Council’s authority under the Chairmanship of the Region Governor.
The Council shall have a secretariat installed in the Region’s Governorate and entrusted with the duty of drawing of the agenda, sending out invitations on time, keeping record of the deliberations which take place at meetings, separate votes, drawing up the minutes of meeting, editing resolution, taking the necessary measures to maintain discipline at Council meetings and noting down the Council’s resolutions.
The Minister of Interior shall issue the necessary regulations for the implementation of this Law.