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    Violators of HADAF’s conditions will be criminalized under financial fraud rules


    Aug 28, 2023

    Okaz/Saudi Gazette

    RIYADH — The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development came out with a draft regulation that includes punitive measures against those who misuse support programs under the Human Resources Development Fund (HADAF). Violators of the regulation will be criminalized under the financial fraud laws.

    According to the draft regulation, violation of the terms and conditions of the HADAF support program would lead to punitive measures such as temporary suspension of the Fund’s services; refunding part or whole of the support amounts disbursed to firms or beneficiaries; depriving the beneficiary of support, and terminating the support agreement concluded between HADAF and the firm or beneficiaries.

    The regulation was drafted to set a framework for handling violations; procedures for proving cases of violation, and clarifying the ways to object to the Fund’s decisions and recovering the disbursed support amounts.

    The draft regulation aims to support efforts to qualify the national workforce; employ them in the private sector; provide subsidies for the qualification of the national workforce; train and employ them in the private sector; participate in the costs of qualifying the national workforce; train them for private sector jobs, and bear a percentage from the salary of those Saudis who are employed in the private sector establishments, after qualifying and training them; and supporting the financing of field programs, projects, plans and studies aimed at employing Saudis and replacing them with expatriate workers.

    According to the draft regulation, HADAF’s representatives have the right to follow up on the implementation of the support programs by conducting periodic and non-periodic field visits to the firm’s headquarters, and they have the right at any time to demand bank documents proving the transfer of the monthly wage to the beneficiary’s bank account and to view and examine any contracts, books or records. Also the Fund has the right to contact the beneficiaries with the aim of requesting and checking any documents, reports or other data, as well as to seek the assistance of any party to ensure the validity of the data furnished with regard to the support.

    Violations can be caught by releasing a report proving that the incident involves a violation, with details such as location of the violation, its date, the time of detection, and the names of the violators, and all documents attached to the procedures related to the incident.

    The regulation also spells out the criminalized acts, which are any actions committed by the firm or the beneficiaries, directly or indirectly, for the purpose of obtaining support without right, and anyone who defrauded, impersonated any person, or hacked the electronic systems of HADAF is subject to criminalization.

    According to the Anti-Cyber Crime Law, the crime happens if the establishment or the beneficiary issues an electronic or paper report containing incorrect information with regard to the Fund’s support, then they are subjected to criminalization according to the penal system for forgery crimes. The violator must refund the amounts, which had disbursed to him, to the Fund within 30 working days from the date of receiving the notification. The violator is considered to have received the notification, whether by letter or electronic correspondence, with the administrative decision, and if he does not commit to paying within this period, he will be finally warned to pay within 15 working days. The Fund has the right to stop its services provided to the facility and the beneficiaries until the Fund recovers the disbursed support amounts. The lawsuits filed against the Fund at the competent administrative court do not stop the implementation of any administrative decision issued to recover the disbursed support amounts or stop the Fund’s services except by a decision of that court to stop execution of the order.

    A committee shall be formed to consider the objections raised by the subsidized establishments and beneficiaries, and the decision on the objection shall be made within 30 days, and if a decision is issued rejecting it, it must be with substantial evidence. The lapse of 30 days from the date of submitting the objection without a decision on it by the Fund is considered as issuance of a decision rejecting the objection.

    The committee has the right to seek the assistance of whomever it deems appropriate in the matter of accomplishing its tasks, and whoever has been subjected to an administrative decision by the Fund regarding any violation may object to the decisions within 30 days from the date of being notified of the decision. Violations of a criminal nature are outside the jurisdiction of the committee and the Fund and these will be referred to the competent authorities.

    According to the regulations, HADAF has the right to obtain the credit information of the beneficiary and the establishment and has the right to share it with the relevant authorities. The Fund has the right to recover the support amounts disbursed to facilities or beneficiaries in the event of a contractual relationship that violates the provisions and controls of the support agreement or electronic declarations.

    The Fund has the right to recover all or part of the disbursed support amounts if the violation is proven, according to what the fund decides. Both establishments and beneficiaries are obligated to respond to HADAF’s correspondence, whether paper or electronic, within the specified period. In the event of delay in responding, the Fund has the right to take whatever it deems appropriate, such as stopping and recovering all support amounts.

    The Fund shall not bear any expenses or sums of money incurred by the support applicant unless he receives a notice of approval of the request, it was stated in the regulation.

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