Based on the principle of participation and transparency, the Ministry of Finance launched on Sunday, 18 Muharram 1439 (corresponding to 8 October 2017) its first draft of the "Government Competition and Procurement System" on MOF website, to enable the private sector specialists and stakeholders, and the concerned government entities to review the draft contents and provide their suggestions via website and e-mail. Suggestions will continue to be received until Saturday 8 Safar 1439, corresponding to October 28, 2017.
This comes within the ministry's efforts to regulate the procedures related to government procurement according to best practices, in order to achieve the best value of the public fund when contracting for items, constructions, and consultancy and non-consulting services; and implementing them at fair competitive prices, enhancing integrity and competition, preventing the impact of personal interests, and providing fair treatment to competitors. Moreover, the Ministry of Finance seeks to deliver equal opportunity, ensures transparency in all government procurement procedures, and promotes economic development, including local SMEs support.
The ministry emphasized that the government competition and procurement project established the modern development concepts that met the public and private sector needs, in line with the 2030 vision objectives. The most prominent of these changes is the establishment of a governmental strategic procurement unit, which concerned with concluding agreements on contracting and services at competitive prices, according to the needs of different government agencies. Along with establishing a committee to determine the preference ratios for supporting small and medium enterprises and local content, encourage their participation in government competitions, complete the competition procedures, introduce the planning concept, and publish the annual plans via website, which contains record of each government entities' projects and procurement, plus of the necessary information.
The project also introduced mechanisms to identify and determine the qualifications and ability of bidders to execute contracts, by following the pre-qualification and post-qualification concepts. In addition, it developed instruments for preparing competition documents and focusing on outputs and performance levels required, as well as prioritizing the SMEs in limited competitions and direct purchases, and not obligate those enterprises and non-profit \ endowment entities to provide bid Bonds. Regarding the bid bonds, the draft developed an alternative mechanism, in which the bidder signing a pledge stating that he \ she will sign the contract and provide the final guarantee if he \ she was chosen as a winner.
Other important changes in the system included the introduction of instruments that would consider different criteria to be evaluated for bids (price and non-price) to achieve the concept of "best value for the price". Furthermore, the system tends to expand the use of new procurement methods such as phased competition, framework agreements, electronic reverse bidding, demanding of consultancy services, and competition. Additionally, all bidders can complete all competition procedures, including submission and opening of offers via the website. One of the changes in the procurement system, is the obligatory suspension period between the bid's winner announcement and the actual implementing of the bid, to enable the remaining contestants to complain about any action taken during the competition.
Regarding the performance of the contractor, the system draft stated that the contract will be prepared according to the contractor's level of performance (establishing the contractor performance evaluation concept), as well as linking the payments to the performance level, which gives the government the right to reduce payments based on the level of performance and quality. On other hand, the government is responsible to compensate the contractor in case the prices of main materials in the project increased, or any amendment occurs in custom tariff, fees, or taxes. The system draft also provides means to resolve conflicts during implementation in line with international best practices.
To read the first draft of the "Government Competition and Procurement System", click here