(MENAFN - Arab News) The Ministry of Planning and Economy demanded tough punitive measures against major contracting companies for delaying government projects due to negligence. In a study conducted by the ministry, 37 reasons were identified for the failure or delay in the completion of government projects.
Director of the studies and research department at the ministry Abdullah Al-Marwani said in the study that the governmental agency - the owner of the project - does not supervise the design nor does it conduct an adequate engineering study of the project during the initial planning stages.
Furthermore, due to the rushed process of inviting and signing bids, design problems are discovered by government departments at later stages and when alterations are requested it leads to delay in the completion of the project.
Another factor that contributes to the failure/delay is that the official contractor subcontracts the project to smaller contractors, who lack the expertize and the financial capacity to undertake the project.
"A serious problem with contractors is their dependence on small and medium range contracting companies," Al-Marwani was quoted in the study as saying.
The study further elaborated that the subcontractor might not have participated in the bid for the project, due to the company's weak financial standing and technical competence.
Contractors were also criticized for not conducting thorough research about the project requirements and technicalities prior to participating in the bids. They were blamed for negligence concerning the contract period.
The system of choosing the lowest bidding contractors is another factor that leads to the increase in defaulted projects.
Another issue that creates problems is the fact that many contractors have an overlap in the due dates of their projects, meaning they have several projects that need to be completed at the same time, which overstretches their resources and efforts.
On the other hand contractors have complained that they face major obstacles in terms of complicated bureaucratic procedures and formalities, as well as serious delay in getting paid for their work.
Other issues that hamper the completion of projects, or even prompt some contractors to abandon their work, include their inability to find the right workers in the local market and difficulty to get the construction material because of the increasing demand and the rising prices of raw materials.
Some contractors who undertake projects in remote locations resort to crude manual methods of mixing and pumping reinforced concrete, which in turn, leads to delays in the completion of projects.
The study suggested a review of the rules and regulations governing government contracts. It also recommended establishing professional contracting and consulting companies to minimize and oversee problems in this sector.