Methods of Procurement Under Qatar’s Tender Law
April 27, 2022
By: Ribal Fattal, Senior Associate.
Zarak Khan, Associate.
Public tender procedures in Qatar are governed primarily by two specific pieces of legislation, namely, Law No. 24 of 2015 as amended (the “Tender Law”) and Council of Ministers Decision No. 16 of 2019 (the “Executive Regulations”).
The Tender Law principally applies to the procurement of items, contracting works, services rendered to ministries, government entities, public authorities, public institutions and according to a Council of Ministers decision entities whose budget is funded, entirely or partially, by the State.
Certain public entities are explicitly excluded from the scope of the Tender Law, including the armed forces, police, and all military entities (so long as the contracts they wish to enter into are of a confidential nature), Qatar Energy (previously named Qatar Petroleum), the Qatar Investment Authority and entities specifically excluded by virtue of a Council of Ministers decision.
The entities subject to the provisions of the Tender Law must implement its provisions whenever they seek to enter into a contract, especially if the contract is being or will be entered into with a third-party private entity.
Pursuant to the Tender Law, the key principles that form the basis of each open tender process are justice, publicity, equal opportunity, free competition, transparency and value for money. The phrase “value for money” in this context means an assessment conducted by the relevant tender committee between the value or revenue expected to be obtained from the items, works or services required, and the price borne by the relevant government entity.
The principal method of procurement by a government entity subject to the Tender Law is through open tendering. The process requires that the department in charge of tenders and bids in the relevant government entity announce the public tender on the State’s procurement website: https://monaqasat.mof.gov.qa/ . Every bidder should expect to find all of the details in relation to submitting the desired bids for a tender once they have been published on the said website.
Pursuant to the Tender Law, there are also exceptional types of procurement by government entities which are as follows:
- Two-stage tendering;
- Restricted tendering;
- Procurement by negotiation (Mumarasa in Arabic);
- Procurement by competition (Musabakah in Arabic); and
- Procurement by direct agreement.
Two-stage tendering is conducted where it is impossible for the government entity to estimate fees and prepare detailed technical specifications for the subject of procurement.
In the first stage, the government entity will announce the request for initial proposals without specifying any prices, but it will include the technical proposals for the items and specify the contracting works or services to be procured. The tender documents will be delivered without payment of any fees at the first stage.
After evaluating the initial proposals received, the government entity will prepare the final tender documents and will send the invitation for tender to the initial bidders whose proposals were accepted, requesting them to submit their final technical and commercial proposals.
Restricted tendering occurs when the subject matter of the procurement requires an invitation to specific suppliers, contractors, service providers, consultants and technicians, and those who are registered in a list prepared by the relevant government entity for such purposes.
Procurement By Negotiation
Procurement by negotiation is conducted (i) in urgent cases; (ii) in matters where the launching of public tendering is inapplicable; (iii) in the event that the bids submitted in relation to a public tender are unacceptable; or (iv) in cases where there is a need but the government entity is prevented from undertaking another public tender. A minimum of 3 companies must be invited to such a bid.
Procurement By Competition
Procurement by competition is used for conducting studies or preparing designs, plans, models and other technical works necessary for a certain specific project.
The “direct agreement” method (being similar to the procurement by negotiation method) is conducted in urgent or emergency cases where public tendering procedures or procurement by negotiation are inapplicable, or where the nature of the procurement necessitates the need for direct agreement.
An “urgent case” in the context of procurement is any case involving the completion of the works or provision of goods or services within a short period of time, which are considered essential to ensure the safety, efficiency and smooth functioning of the relevant governmental authority.
An “emergency case” is any unexpected and serious threat to safety or security or any gross violation which could cause the loss of human lives, property or production, the occurrence of environmental pollution, or any circumstance that affects the position of the State or a government entity, and which may not be handled according to the ordinary tendering procedures.
These methods of government procurement and contracting are generally subject to the same provisions of the Tender Law and Executive Regulations, and government entities must comply with the tender requirements mentioned above, unless otherwise exempted.
The Tender Law and its Executive Regulations address other important subjects, such as the financial aspects of the tendering, the role of the tenders and bids committees, the role of the government procurement regulatory department, the award and execution of contracts, and applicable law and dispute resolution mechanisms.
Any contractor, supplier, or service provider seeking to bid for a public project in Qatar should first familiarise themselves with the various aspects of the Tender Law and its Executive Regulations including but not limited to the methods of procurement mentioned above.