(MENAFN- The Peninsula) By Mohammad Shoeb / The Peninsula
The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has formed a grievance redressal committee and a small court for the quicker resolution of procurement related disputes, said a senior official at the Ministry who is responsible for monitoring the government procurement procedures.
The dispute resolution court at the MoF is headed by a judge from a ‘higher court', and members from different entitites.
Qatar, in November 2015, issued Law Number 24 of 2015 regulating government tenders and auctions in a transparent manner to ensure fair competition and avoid price fixing, bid rigging and other forms of possible collusions in public tenders. The said law stipulates to prosecute the officials who act against the country's competition protection and collusion combat policy in public procurement.
Abdulaziz Zeid Rashid Al-Taleb, Director of Government Procurement Regulations, at the Ministry of Finance, said: 'We as a regulator at the Ministry of Finance have our doors open for all the companies facing any problems with buyers within the country. They can approach us direct three days a week (Sunday, Monday and Tuesday) without any prior appointment. They can meet personally with me or any of my subordinates depending on case to case basis.
Al Taleb, speaking to The Peninsula on the sidelines of an event, added: 'There is a new committee and a small court, headed by a high court judge. The committee has representatives from several public organizations, including the MoF and Qatar Chamber.
The committee has provisions of hearing grievances of suppliers or representatives from companies. Such companies facing problems can utilize the services of the committee prior to awarding of the contract in question.
He noted that if any bidder is really treated discriminately against any publicly announced tender, the committee not only solve the problem but also take strong action against the offenders.
'In case of any wrongdoing or unfair treatment, we stop the tender immediately to ensure that the local suppliers are treated fairly, said Al Taleb, who himself is one of the members of the committee.
The procurement law also requires government agencies and contracting companies to procure certain percentage of their materials from local suppliers and producers to support locally produced goods and ‘National Products'.
Asked about the difference between local products and ‘national products', Al Taleb said that whatever is assembled in Qatar are called local products, while ‘national products' are those which are fully produced within the country from scratch.
Commenting on quality control and specification standards, he said: 'As far quality is concerned there are parameters set by the Ministry of Municipality and Environment. The locally produced goods have to meet the set standards, marks and specifications in order to be able to sell within the country.
He added that in addition, the Ministry of Energy and Industry have their own dedicated department with field inspectors who visit factories and production facilities to ensure quality standards.
'Unfortunately the locally available raw materials and goods have not been promoted in the proper manner. A lot of factories shy away from selling things locally, and prefer to export to only overseas clients and sit idle for next orders, for whatever reasons. Many of them also face constrains such as limited or poor marketing strategy and constrains in terms of production facility and economies of scale, Al Taleb said.
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