The Royal Diwan
The primary executive office of the king is the Royal Diwan.
The king's principal advisers for domestic politics, religious
affairs, and international relations have offices in the Royal
Diwan. The king's private office also is in the Royal Diwan. The
king conducts most routine government affairs from this office,
including the drafting of regulations and royal decrees. In addition,
the heads of several government departments have their offices
in the diwan. These include the chief of protocol, the Office
of Beduin Affairs; the Department of Religious Research, Missionary
Activities, and Guidance; and, as well, the mutawwiin
or Committees for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of
Vice (popularly known as the Committees for Public Morality).
The Department of Religious Research, Missionary Activities, and
Guidance is headed by the most senior of the country's ulama.
In 1992 this person was the blind religious scholar Shaykh Abd
al Aziz ibn Baz, who spent much of his time in Medina, where he
was in charge of the Prophet's Mosque.
The king also held his regular majlis, or court, in the Royal
Diwan. The purpose of the majlis was to provide Saudi citizens
an opportunity to make personal appeals to the king for redress
of grievances or assistance in private matters. Plaintiffs typically
sought the king's intervention with the state's bureaucracy. During
the reigns of King Khalid and King Fahd, it was customary for
each person attending the majlis to explain his complaints and
simultaneously present a written petition, which the monarch would
later study and answer in a subsequent session.
Data as of December 1992