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KW23_HE_PIFSS_Ahmad Al Thunayan_PORTRAIT

KUWAIT - Health & Education

Ahmad H. Al Thunayan

Acting Director General, Public Institution for Social Security (PIFSS)

Bio

Ahmad H. Al Thunayan is the Acting Director General at PIFSS in Kuwait. He started his career as an accountant at the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development and then joined Zain Group to become the accounts payable manager, treasury acting manager, procurement manager, and, finally, accounts payable and assets management manager. He later returned to KFAED to serve as assistant deputy director in investment accounting. His experience exceeds 29 years in operations, finance, and accounting. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Kuwait University. He was a member of the board of directors in both Agility and Kuwait Stock Exchange. He is currently a member of the board of directors in both EPIC and Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait.

“Throughout the pandemic we also dealt with over 50,000 queries from our citizens on our social media platforms.”
Focused on the welfare of Kuwait’s public, PIFSS has made great efforts to digitalize and simplify its processes for users.
What is the idea behind Kuwait’s PIFSS?

Naturally, PIFSS’ main objective is sustainability that allows the institution to support Kuwaiti citizens’ pensions and secure their long-term wellbeing. We have previously set 19 targets for achieving this, some of which have already been accomplished. According to our strategic plan, we will accomplish the remainder by 2024. We support many areas, the most important being the social care of the citizens, which encompasses old age, disability, sicknesses, and death. Additional goals have been set lately such as bonuses for non-pensioners. In short, that is the mandate of PIFSS.

How did the institution manage its operations during the pandemic?

First, PIFSS managed to continue the delivery of its services through the pandemic. It was not an easy time for us, especially because of the lengthy full national lockdown. Despite the difficulties we managed to adapt to this situation and replaced our regular procedures, where some of our employees worked from the office, running the business, and authorizing other departments to work from home. Conducting effective online business was essential, and we saw every major problem as an opportunity to develop our operations. Looking at the figures, we managed to transfer over KWD1 billion to our pensioners. It was a challenge to manage this internally, yet we conducted over 224,000 transactions throughout the pandemic. We also dealt with over 50,000 queries from our citizens on our social media platforms. I know that throughout the pandemic, it was not easy for the self-employed to manage their expenses; therefore, we postponed their installments, in addition to deferring amounts due to the Institution for up to 1 year. As well as PIFSS’ local role, our employees demonstrated a significant contribution by donating the pay of a combined 1,217 working days, totaling more than KWD82,500 to the Kuwait Fund to support COVID-19 prevention efforts. We are incredibly proud of this accomplishment as it highlights our staff’s dedication to both their work and country. Finally, we gave our stakeholders all the support we could, and thanks to our team effort and a great organization, we emerged successful.

What was the origin of the Sahel App initiative, and what other technological solutions have been worked on since?

For years, PIFSS has been working to convert their transactions and application processes from paper forms to the current computerized services. The distinguished Council of Ministers took the initiative to create the Sahel App, which aims to bring together government services in a single, easily accessible location with transparency about data and transaction status. Additionally, we aim to add new services on a continuous basis to better serve the public. As a result, we participated in the Sahel App’s initial phase of unified electronic governmental services so that the public could have access to these services without having to visit the institution’s headquarters or its branches. Today we offer a range of services through the app, including issuing electronic certificates, requesting an advance pension payment, updating personal data, changing bank accounts on which the pension is disbursed, and others. The Institution also introduced its own application “Thukher,” which offers all services electronically, and was awarded the best technical project in the government sector in 2020.

What are you set to focus on in the new year?

We will focus on giving the best service and investing more in technological advancements. Technology is the starting point where we can support our pensioners at a higher standard. We may refine our policies to maintain and best address the needs of our stakeholders. Meanwhile, we are hosting weekly meetings with the people, including pensioners and the self-employed to hear their perspective. And, of course, digital transformation will play a major part in our work going forward, which involves hiring talented staff. We nurture our staff for optimum performance for the long-term pursuit of our goal.

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