Doha Port authorities move to promote greater transparency

Cultural disconnection between clients and companies needs to be bridged, authorities say

Parties bidding for work on New Doha Port have been told their company name will be published if they apply for pre-qualification or are short listed to the project.

Part of an effort to “increase transparency” in the tender process and “improve the overall quality of submissions”, authorities involved in New Doha Port have suggested this could become best practice, despite criticism from contractors.

“We are trying to improve transparency between the client and bidders,” explained Nabeel Mohammed A. R. Al Buenain, project executive director, New Doha Port.

“Some companies have complained to us about publishing their names when they have not prequalified, but we believe this creates a more competitive and fair marketplace,” he added.

According to Al Buenain, bidders must satisfy six criteria before tendering for projects, including: “acceptable” cash flow; experience in the field; equipment, skills and staff; and the ability to be “committed to the project and Qatar”.

In order to improve efficiency for the tender process all tender and bid processes are now completed online, where details of past, current and future tender packages are also available.

“It is very important that submissions demonstrate capability in each of these areas” Al Buenain continued.

During the Qatar Infrastructure Projects conference, held last week in London, a number of professionals looking to tap Qatar’s opportunities, concluded the measures will result in a need for contractors need to be more strategic regarding business development practices in the state.

“What we have now is a cultural disconnection between clients and companies. Contractors need to change the way they approach a deal, adding more value beyond contractual communications by bringing new ideas and being innovative. Companies have to manage the client relationship as much as the contract. It can mean the difference between succeeding and losing the bid,” said James Brenan from law firm Herbert Smith.

In total, current calculations conclude that there is more than $70bn in major projects to be awarded in order to achieve 2022 objectives

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