US-based Aecom is understood to be the frontrunner for the contract to provide consultancy services for Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs’ project management office (PMO).

The ministry received proposals from firms in February this year.

According to regional projects tracker MEED Projects, the ministry has about $13bn of projects, of which $11bn are in the pre execution phase.

Riyadh is establishing PMOs at all major government organisations to help it contain spending and increase returns from infrastructure investments. The overview document for Riyadh’s Vision 2030 emphasises the key role that PMOs will play in transforming the kingdom’s economy.

In February this year, US-based Bechtel was awarded the contract to support setting up and operating Saudi Arabia’s National Project Management Organisation (NPMO).

Known as Mashroat, the NPMO will support Saudi government agencies to effectively deliver complex infrastructure projects. The National Project Management Organisation was formed by the Ministry of Economy and Planning in 2015.

Other organisations are expected to tender PMO deals this year. The Ministry of Health approached consultants in late April and early May for its PMO.

It is understood that the ministry plans to tender the contract for the role over the summer with an award scheduled before the end of this year.