Sheikh Humoud Salah Al-Sabah

KUWAIT: The Kuwait Financial Centre K.P.S.C "Markaz" recently announced the launch of its 'Procurement Guide to Contractual Arrangements' between governmental and quasi-governmental entities with "Markaz", in an effort to establish guided contractual relationships between both sectors. The development of the guide stems from Markaz's keenness to participate in the sustainable growth and development of the national economy, represented through offering advisory and consultancy services to the government and quasi-government institutions. Accordingly, the guide provides a brief of the capabilities of Markaz in procuring such services to the public sector.

The procurement of services by public sector's entities are subject to the Tender Law 49/2016 as amended by Law 74/2019 and its executive regulations 30/2017 (the "Tender Law"), which regulates public and limited bids or solicitations. The guide outlines what Markaz can offer to meet the needs of a public sector's entity, and the processes and procedures of 'Limited Solicitations'. It also clarifies the parameters for in establishing a 'Service Provider' company, the benefits of outsourcing to a 'Joint Venture' and the phases for assessing solicitations and bids by governmental and quasi-governmental institutions, pursuant to international practices.

Commenting on the Procurement Guide, Sheikh Humoud Salah Al-Sabah, Assistant Vice President, Government Business Relations at "Markaz" said: "The launch of the Procurement Guide to Contractual Arrangements between Governmental & Quasi-Governmental Entities falls in line with Markaz's efforts to reinforce the partnership between the private and public sectors. It is one of the development pillars in the State of Kuwait, which depends on the public sector benefiting from the practices of an efficient private sector, while encouraging competition across the local markets, making it a key area of focus in light of this significant economic transitional period".

He added: "Strategic partnerships between the private and public sectors come in different forms, and it is imperative that each party fully understands how it can benefit from the other, with the aim of improving the overall economic status and increasing productivity levels. Stemming from this belief, Markaz took the initiative to launch the 'Procurement Guide' in an effort to outline the main service offered by Markaz to public entities, and how to fully benefit from them".

Markaz's Procurement Guide shares the four different stages of 'Contracting for Advisory Services', which begin with 'Request for Proposal, followed by the Invite Response to RFP, also known as 'Prequalification, then the Evaluation phase, and last but not least, the Project Award. On a global level, public entities have outlined minimum standards for procurements based on the monetary value.

The policies and procedures revolve around the core procurement principles like fairness, effectiveness, quality, economic benefits and transparency. With the set fundamental principles, the public bodies most likely follow a fit-for-purpose approach depending on the size and the intricacies involved in the project, in addition to observing the value for money principle.

The guide also highlights key factors to ensure the successful implementation of projects between both sectors, in relation to cultural, technical, strategic, and financial aspects. While quality is the primary factor in consulting services, price is also an important criterion, however the price weight depends on the evaluation methodology chosen. Contracts are awarded to applicants with the highest combined scores that meet the criteria for technical and financial requirements and emphasize the principle of value for money.

The two key services provided by Markaz to government and quasi-government entities are Asset Management Services, and Consultancy and Advisory Services. Asset Management Services covers investment portfolios focused on different types of financial securities in different markets; and investment portfolios in real estate, private equity and other alternative investments. In addition to investments into collective investment schemes and investment funds managed by Markaz.

Whereas Consulting and other outsourcing services include financial advisory and restructuring, operational advisory and restructuring, management consultancy, sector studies, and strategy reviews and updates. It also encompasses governance framework and policy reviews and updates and legal and administrative services within the legal framework of the public sector entity.