No government contracts to foreign consultancy firms


By Fatima Al-Dobais

Okaz/Saudi Gazette

— A royal order has been issued banning provision of consultancy services to foreign firms.

The government departments and agencies are allowed to conclude contracts with foreign consultancy companies and offices in dire circumstances only when there is no Saudi expertise is available to provide the required consultancy services.

Under the order, all the government departments and agencies are obliged to conclude contracts with only experienced Saudi consultancy offices and companies.

The decree was based on a decision of the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers in line with the recommendations of its Experts’ Committee, which examined the subject.

This follows a letter from the Chairman of the Control and Investigation Board to the General Secretariat of the Cabinet regarding contracts concluded by government agencies for consultancy services.

The General Secretariat stated that the Experts’ Committee at the Cabinet carried out studies about this topic with the participation of the relevant authorities.

The General Committee at the Cabinet endorsed the findings of the study that recommended restriction of consultancy services of government departments to Saudi consultancy firms.

It is noteworthy to note that the Shoura Council had discussed a few years ago about the file regarding conclusion of agreements by some government agencies with foreign companies and offices for providing consultancy services.

At that time, the total value of the contracts awarded to foreign firms estimated at around SR12 billion, according to a report of the General Auditing Bureau.

The report came after making a thorough review of the foreign consultancy contracts of the government agencies during the past financial years.

During the deliberations, the Shoura members called on the authorities to take measures to provide consultancy services for the Saudi firms.

They noted that there are dozens of national research centers operating under the umbrella of universities or the private sector that can take advantage of this core activity involving huge amounts of money.