Saudi Arabia’s National Project Management Office (NPMO) has shortlisted three firms to provide consultancy services for the body that will oversee future capital expenditure projects in the kingdom.

The three shortlisted firms are understood to be:

  • · Aecom (US)
  • · Bechtel (US)
  • · Parsons (US)

The firms submitted bids in mid-July.

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 infrastructure investments. 

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.”

Capital expenditure is expected to fall by about 70 per cent to $20.6bn during 2016 as Riyadh reprioritises its spending plans and establishes new bodies such as the NPMO and other management offices at other government entities.