Almost two years have passed since the promulgation of Law No. 24 of 2015 on Regulation of Tenders and Auctions (the “New Law”) that came into effect on 13 June 2016. The New Law introduced a classification process for entities transacting with the State of Qatar. The classification process involves the issuance of a certificate of classification by the Government Procurement Regulatory Department (GPRD) at the Ministry of Finance. The online portal is an official channel between bidders and government agencies, companies and institutions to interact and ensures a level of transparency and fairness to business competition.
Both foreign and local companies bidding for government contracts will, as a general matter, be required to be classified as either a contractor, service provider or supplier by the GPRD as a pre-requisite to their participation in or award of a particular tender. The GPRD has launched an official processing system wherein companies can submit an application for classification in order to be evaluated and categorized according to their specialty.
The application process is straightforward and includes submitting essential information about the company, its owners, its financial status (such as share capital and net assets), administrative and technical staff, type of equipment owned by the company and past and present projects in which the company was involved. Certain documentation for foreign entities such as the commercial registration certificate or articles of association must be duly attested by the Qatari embassy of the applicant’s home jurisdiction prior to submissions. Moreover, applicants without a registered presence in the State of Qatar must ensure their commercial activities submitted are harmonious to the activities acknowledged by the Ministry of Economy and Commerce.
A tenderer applying for classification as a contractor will require industry specific information to be submitted, such as their heads of engineering, project planning, quality assurance and control, and security. The applicant will also be required to provide information about their staff engineers, quantity surveyors, project planners, security, laborers and technicians.
Additionally, a contractor applying for classification must submit details of completed projects and information about their equipment, machinery, and vehicles including proof of vehicle ownership registration (such as title deeds).