Muscat: The Omani Authority for Partnership for Development (OAPFD), conducted a workshop at Bank Muscat Hall on Wednesday that was attended by over 40 civil contracting companies.
The workshop was part of a roadshow to increase awareness of the Partnership for Development Programme (PFD) and its regulations and was in response to requests from contractors for a better understanding of how the programme applies to them and the ways in which a PFD obligation can be discharged.
To date the roadshow has reached out to a number of entities and people including defence and security, investment companies, legal firms, and government and semi government units. The Workshop held on Wednesday was for the benefit oflocal and international civil contractors.
Paul Williams, PFD Adviser, gave a presentation on the background and history of the programme along with an overview of the current regulations.
The PFD, is the name by which ‘offset’ is known in Oman. PFD was launched by the Ministry of Defence in 1999 and at the time applied only to procurements by the Ministry of Defence.
In November 2008 the management of the programme moved to the Ministry of Commerce but continued dealing only with defence procurements.
The Royal Decree 9/2014 issued on the February 3, 2014 created a new entity — The Omani Authority for Partnership for Development — to own and run the PFD and, at the same time, extending the programme to incorporate civil infrastructure procurement as well as extending to all security agencies in the Sultanate. The programme now applies to 39 government and semi-government units.
Williams explained the objectives of the programme, which are to diversify the national economy, enhance national capabilities including military and security capabilities, and strengthening the private sector through new technologies and human resource development while applying the three main principles of PFD projects.
They are additionality (proposals must reflect incremental or new business); sustainability (project must be sustainable beyond the obligation period; and responsibility (the fulfilment of any PFD obligations lies solely with the obligor).
In addition, Rahma Al Riyamy, contracts consultant at OAPFD explained a more detailed overview of the programme’s implementation in the civil sector with a focus on how in country value (ICV) and PFD compliment each other and how activities under ICV play a role in discharging a PFD Obligation.
In her presentation she focused on PFD procedures and processes specific to civil procurements and as to the contractor’s obligations when tendering for the Omani government to ensure compliance with the Royal Decree and the Regulations.