41% of projects exceed estimated costs due to delay in implementation


Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — According to statistics presented to the Shoura Council for review, 850 out of a total of 1,035 development projects in the country between 1992 and 2009 had failed to complete on time. The statistics indicated that 41 percent of infrastructure projects had exceeded their estimated costs due to the delay in implementing them.

There has been an increase in government spending on projects in the past few years with budget allocations of more than SR100 billion for upgrading infrastructure, including roads and bridges.

Former member of the Shoura Council Dr. Jabran Al-Qahtani said a proposed draft on public works submitted to the Shoura Council aims to protect public money, especially after realizing that there were some imbalances in implementing development infrastructure projects. There has been a drop in the level of quality in some projects, which may not be completed until after many years.

Al-Qahtani said the current situation reflected some of the negative aspects of the national economy, which any citizen can easily perceive.

These negative aspects have been exacerbated by negligence in the past. Repeated attempts to complete a project means an increase in costs and a waste of time, said Al-Qahtani.

Other problems include extra focus on certain infrastructure projects at the expense of others and the failure to make optimal use of national resources.

Al-Qahtani said: “The issues also include weak coordination between government agencies, poor technical supervision and a lack of qualified engineering cadres.”