Government departments and agencies in the Kingdom have been forbidden to use the services of foreign consultancy firms as per instruction from the national government.
The royal order issued concerning this, states that contracts can only be signed off with foreign consultancy companies only when there is no Saudi alternative available.
Saudi Limits Need to Hire Consultancy Services from Foreign Firms
The decree was based on a ruling upheld by the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers, following recommendations by its Experts’ Committee, as shared in a report by the Saudi Gazette.
According to the report, previous discussions by the Shoura Council had taken place with regard to government agencies and foreign companies, with a recommendation to provide more consultancy work for Saudi firms.
The resolution aims to tap into the capabilities of local firms, highlighting the opportunity given to citizens to create their mark in the industry they are involved with.
Under the order, all the government departments and agencies are obliged to sign contracts with only experienced Saudi consultancy offices and companies.
At that time, the value of contracts awarded to foreign firms was estimated to be around SAR 12 billion ($3.2bn) based on a report by the General Auditing Bureau.
The decree was based on a decision of the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers as part of integrating the recommendations of its Experts’ Committee, which examined the subject.
The report came after conducting a thorough review of the foreign consultancy contracts of the government agencies during the past financial years.
The deliberations prompted Shoura members to call on the authorities to take measures to provide consultancy services for the Saudi firms.
The members of the council noted that there are dozens of national research centers operating under the umbrella of universities or the private sector that can take advantage of this core activity involving huge amounts of money.
The hope is that national research centers based in universities or the private sector can take advantage of the new order.
With this change, more opportunities are now being offered to Saudi nationals to maximize their skills, talents, and expertise to help improve their respective industries as well as the overall economy.
It should be noted, though, that government agencies and companies may still avail services of foreign consultancy firms when there is no Saudi alternative to offer this service in a particular field or industry.