RIYADH: ABDUL HANNAN TAGO
Sunday 23 September 2012
Last Update 23 September 2012 2:16 am
All mega projects should have a databank, accessible and transparent to all stockholders, containing statistics, forecasts, financial capability and assets of the projects, including their independent management status.
This was one of the resolutions of the first Saudi Mega Infrastructure Projects (MIP-2012) summit, which concluded last week.
Faisal S. Al-Fadl, head of the organization committee of Saudi MIP 2012, presented the recommendations.
Al-Fadl said mega projects must have a strategic national vision apart from allowing a collective involvement in the planning and development of large projects. The project should also maintain a record of lessons learned.
He said: “Delegates advised the public and the private sector to establish a nonprofit institute to manage all records that can be of use to stakeholders like owners, investors, suppliers etc.”
The summit was organized by MEED in coordination with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and GC Company in Riyadh, with the support of FA Partners, an architectural and engineering construction group of companies. The event attracted a lot of media attention and got many industry professionals involved.
Presentations and panel sessions were held on fields like transport infrastructure (road, rail, and aviation), social infrastructure (education, health care) & utilities infrastructure (power & water, desalination, renewable energy, waste management). A number of issues came up through think-tank sessions, which were conducted throughout the three-day summit.
The delegates concluded the summit with the following recommendations:
The performance of mega projects should be measurable, quantifiable and manageable to foresee the outcomes of the projects along with their positive and negative indications.
Saudi Arabia should have a professional certification institute, such as nongovernmental organizations similar to the Mega Projects Association in the UK, to take care of an industry vision of the mega projects.
Government regulation and guidance tools should be put in place for the logistical relationship of mega contractors with subcontractors.
Environmental assessments and green building methodologies must be a prerequisite to the design, construction and operation of all mega projects in order to reduce the ecological footprint and CO2 emission.
A mandatory national organizational chart should be in place to integrate information of mega projects for middle sized to small projects. Such a chart would clearly indicate the parametric project information and the responsibilities of internal and external players. There can be a web-based system for this purpose with on-demand accessibility.
There should be an independent legal system protecting the investors’ interest by providing them guidance for contractual risk management.
A special education department should be established for all mega project managers to implement an on-job training system.
Finally, along with agreeing on these recommendations, the delegates also settled upon having annual Saudi MIP conferences to continue networking, having effective panel discussions to contemplate on new challenges arising in the Kingdom and sharing experience and knowledge with each other.
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