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It has emerged that nine firms some of grade A status and mainly of the country’s construction Engineering Consulting in Qatar sector have seen their licences revoked after it was found that their operations were in violation with the country’s law.

The Peninsula of 28 February 2016 reported that investigations, part of activities of Qatar’s Ministry of Municipality and Environment   ended up with a report that did not give specific reasons for the license cancellations but said that committee inspectors had investigated and upheld complaints lodged against the firms.  Qatar in the absence of self-governed professional organisations has instituted a system of centrally controlling professional activities through government agencies where registration of individual members and companies are differentiated in terms of fees and duration of membership.  These agencies are spearheaded by Committees of whose most members have recently been given judicial powers.  The names of the 9 consultants in question have not been divulged to date.  

All of this state of affairs has no doubt envenomed Qatar’s professional consulting working atmosphere.  Questions are being asked with respect to ethics and morality. 

Last January report of Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index 2015 covering 168 countries, ranked Qatar 22nd, making it the least corrupt country in the Gulf. 

The recently-revoked licenses may lead some to rethink the viability of that merit.

The Peninsula held that :

Tightening its grip on engineering consultancies, the government has cancelled the licences of at least nine errant firms and detected 87 violations this year.

The punished firms include A grade consultancies. There are still some consultancies with engineers not registered with authorities.

A committee at the Ministry of Municipality and Environment licenses engineers and engineering consultancies.

Many members of the Committee have recently been given judicial powers. They launch inspection drives and detect violations at construction sites and offices of consultancy firms.

A total of 325 engineering consultancies, including international firms, operate in the country. According to committee head Khalid Al Sadd, violations this year include absent engineers at construction sites, non-registration of engineers with the committee and flouting of rules on specialisation of engineers. Engineers with specialisation need to supervise some work on construction sites, said Al Sadd, himself an engineer.

Huge fines await consultancy firms and engineers found flouting rules and regulations and the committee’s instructions. This January some 800 engineers, mainly from the consultancies, applied for registration with the committee, said Al Sadd.

He said there were many complaints against the nine consultancies whose licences have been cancelled. The action was taken after the complaints were found to be genuine. The action was taken as per provisions of Law No 2 of 2014, which replaced Law No. 19 of 2005, said Al Sadd.

He said the committee’s inspection campaigns or crackdowns will continue on construction sites and the offices of the consultancies.

Committee members taking part in crackdowns need to ensure that rules and regulations are followed on construction sites. All construction and contracting companies must ensure that their engineers are registered with the committee. Raids are also conducted on the offices of the consultancies to ensure their engineers are registered with the committee.

Al Sadd said there are consultancies many of whose engineers are still not licensed by the committee. The panel registers the engineers, provides licensing to consultancy firms and grades them.

QNM partial-north-view

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