Saudi Arabia’s National Project Management Office has received bids from firms for the contract to provide consultancy services for the body that will oversee future capital expenditure projects in the kingdom.

The contract will initially be for a period of three years. The National Project Management Office was formed by the Ministry of Economy and Planning in 2015.

MEED reported in April that Riyadh had released funding for government departments and their related entities to appoint consultancies to set up their planned project management offices (PMOs).

Riyadh is also understood to be planning to tender the project management office (PMO) role for the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs (Momra), the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Transport.

The kingdom is turning to programme management, a methodology for managing large and complex schemes, as a way of containing spending and increasing returns from the Middle East’s largest capital investment programme.

The overview document for Riyadh’s Vision 2030, released in late April, emphasised the key role that PMOs will play in transforming the kingdom’s economy. “The kingdom’s agencies are currently undergoing a wave of reforms and transformation,” said the document. “To manage this momentum and ensure all efforts are coordinated, we adopted an effective approach to project management and established expert [PMOs] in the Council of Economic and Development Affairs and many other government agencies. We also set up a central delivery unit.”

In the past, programme management has also been used for individual developments and schemes, such as Jubail and Yanbu, the Riyadh Metro and the Waad al-Shamal mining project.

The PMOs will also assist Riyadh’s privatisation drive. The government has identified about 146 state-owned entities that could be privatised or sold to the public as it looks to monetise assets to meet budget shortfalls amid low oil prices and shrinking revenues.