The Higher Economic Council (HEC) in the next few days will issue decisions regarding 12 recommendations submitted by ministerial committees that were formed to address delayed government projects, council sources told Arabic daily Al-Sharq.
The council will issue important decisions that aim to tackle the delays, the sources said.
The ministerial committees were formed following the Ministry of Economy and Planning’s project follow-up committee's quarterly reports that highlighted delays in the execution of government projects.
The ministerial committees' reports showed most projects are awarded to contractors who do not have the capabilities to execute them.
They also found one of the main reasons for the delays is the fact major contractors who are awarded the projects pass the schemes to less capable subcontractors.
It is expected contractors experiencing delays will be denied the chance to bid for any new projects in the future.
A number of government bodies stressed that it is necessary to find solutions to avoid delays in contracts executed either by unfit contractors whose incompetence is discovered after the project is awarded, or by incapable and smaller subcontractors. Recent Ministry of Water and Electricity reports highlighted the difficulties facing the execution of projects including ownership disputes over the land to be developed, either with the government or individuals, and which emerge after the tender process is complete.
Other difficulties are related to contractors, who discover they are incapable of completing the project on time due to commitments to other projects with other government bodies.
Some of them delay implementing the contracts due to labor shortages, which they say is due to new foreign recruitment regulations and procedures.
The huge cost and scale of some projects was also an obstacle, with most Saudi contractors lacking the required capabilities to carry them out. Difficulties facing the Ministry of Transport's road projects are related to delays in issuing clearance and excavation permits and the long coordination list the contractor has to complete.
A contractor is required by municipalities to coordinate with more than 10 government bodies. Obtaining clearance from just one of these bodies can take a whole month, the ministry's report said.
Another problem is there are insufficient specialists at the Transport Ministry to follow up and supervise the execution of the large number of projects.
The Ministry of Water and Electricity called on the Council of Ministers to create a mechanism that resolves land ownership disputes. It also called for increasing sanctions on contractors who do not fulfill contract conditions and specifications and increasing fines for delays that are currently 10 percent of the contract value.