Qatar has put in place a dispute resolution committee (DRC) to hear the administrative disputes arising prior to signing the contracts with the government entities.
The DRC is headed by a judicial president of the Court of First Instance chosen by the Supreme Judiciary Council and will have representatives from the Ministry of Finance and the Qatar Chamber.
"The establishment of the committee can help resolve disputes between government entities on one side, and companies entering the tenders on the other," Hareb Rashid Hareb al-Muhannadi, head of the committee, told reporters.
The DRC is aimed at easing the burden of the courts and speeding up the process for companies in terms of helping them get their rights with as little financial constraints as possible, he said, adding the rulings of the committee could be appealed at the higher court.
Abdulaziz Zeid Rashid al-Taleb, director of Government Procurement Regulations and a member of DRC, said the law regulating tenders stressed the importance of resolving administrative disputes swiftly.
Qatar Law No 24 of 2015 regulating tenders and auctions was published in the Official Gazette Issue No 19 and came into effect on June 13, 2016. The new legislation, which aims to overhaul the previous version, consists of 38 articles unlike its previous counterpart with 73 articles.
Any company dealing with the 57 government agencies would be classified from Category 1 to 6 based on their financial strength, technical prowess and manpower, al-Taleb said.
Highlighting that the cabinet issued decision No 33 for 2017, which states the committee must issue a ruling on any dispute in no more than two months from the date of presenting an application; he said DRC’s sessions would be public to guarantee transparency of the process.
There are 63,000 local companies registered with the Ministry of Finance, of which only 2,500 are able to do business with government. but the list is growing exponentially, al-Taleb said.
Said Busherbak, another member of the committee, encouraged everyone to seek the committee's help in case of having grievances regarding tenders they applied for.
"The goal of establishing the committee is to look out for the interests and rights of companies, as well as local and foreign investments," he said.
Mohamed Ali al-Marri, representative of the Administrative Control and Transparency Authority, spoke on the cooperation between the Ministry of Finance and the committee to guarantee that the law on tenders is in line with the latest and best international standards.
"The new legislation is a positive development at a time where Qatar continues to experience economic growth. The legislation decentralizes the procurement process by instituting tender committees in each ministry and allowing governmental entities to play a more involved role in the public procurement process," Sultan Al-Abdulla and Partners said.
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