Saudi Arabia needs to move ahead with project management offices to unclog pipeline

Saudi Arabia’s government needs to move ahead with plans to design and implement project management offices (PMOs) to avoid further blockages in the country’s project pipeline, according to experts.

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The King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh. Saudi Arabia’s construction projects have been held up while the kingdom’s project management offices are being created. Fayez Nureldine / AFP

Saudi Arabia’s government needs to move ahead with plans to design and implement project management offices (PMOs) to avoid further blockages in the country’s project pipeline, according to experts.

David Clifton, a business development director for cost and project management consultant Faithful+Gould, who was one of a number of consultants advising the Saudi government on the introduction of PMOs, told The National that “it is going to take a year just to design and start implementing this national project management office, whoever is going to do it”.

Only when this national project management office is in place can structures then be drawn up for a series of other PMOs through which individual ministries and municipalities will procure construction contracts, he said.

A royal decree announcing the introduction of PMOs was announced in September last year.

At about the same time, the kingdom’s government turned off the tap on new project awards, citing the need for greater control over public expenditure.

In an interview with Bloomberg in April, Mohammed Al Sheikh, an adviser to the deputy crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman, claimed that inefficient procurement had contributed to the Saudi government wasting between US$80 billion to $100bn per year. More info

By M. Fahy  TheNational

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