RIYADH — The government agencies will be allowed to carry out official communications with entities outside Saudi Arabia or foreign representative missions inside the Kingdom only through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This is stipulated in the new Regulations for Official Communications and the Preservation of Documents and their Data, approved by the weekly session of the Council of Ministers held on Jan. 30. The regulations, which were published in the official Umm Al-Qura gazette on Friday, will come into force 180 days from the date of its publication.

The Regulations prohibit the use of words indicating reverence and glorification in government correspondence in either paper or electronic versions. The regulations stressed that whoever deals with government agency documents must be a Saudi national, and someone who is trustworthy and characterized by honesty and integrity. The regulations also stressed the need for every government agency to commit to taking appropriate measures to protect its electronic documents.

The regulations are aimed to frame rules that govern and document incoming and outgoing correspondence, unify their objective and formal standards, organize the procedures for their receipt, issuance, delivery and receipt between agencies or between them and natural and legal persons, follow them up and maintain the security of their information and classification. The regulations also aimed to formulate rules that lead to preserve, protect and deal with the content and information of documents at all stages, during the processes of receipt, delivery, documentation, registration, review, preservation, viewing and circulation, and through electronic transactions and technical uses and at workplaces.

The regulations stipulate that official communication between agencies shall be through equal administrative levels, and when there is a need to conduct official communication between two different administrative levels that are not related to each other legally, the lower administrative level must take into account that this is to be done through an administrative reference if it is possible. If the official has more than one official job position, he shall be addressed in the name of the position to which the subject relates, and the message shall be delivered to the party to which it is addressed.

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