OIA efficiency optimisation processes saved govt RO80mn in 2021
Muscat – Oman Investment Authority (OIA) has laid down rules – the Code of Governance – for state-owned companies to encourage a culture of accountability and transparency.
On Wednesday, Nasser al Harthy, deputy chairman of the authority, reviewed the process of merging two sovereign investment funds – the State General Reserve Fund and Omani Investment Fund – which led to the establishment of OIA.
“Since 2016, OIA has contributed RO5bn in all to Oman’s general budget. Its rationalisation programme contributed to saving RO80mn in 2021. In 2022-2023, that figure is expected to be about RO120mn,” Harthy said.
He said performance evaluation criteria have been set for the boards of directors of state-own-ed companies for the first time in Oman. “The code stipulates a clear policy of disclosure and pro-fit distribution. The boards of companies will not have ministers and undersecretaries and self-declaration of personal assets upon appointment will be mandatory.” The most prominent features of the new procurement and tender policy will be maximisation of local added value and empowering small and medium enterprises. “About ten per cent of tenders and purchases will be allocated to SMEs. Any purchase contract worth RO10,000 will go to SMEs,” he said.
Addressing the issue of clearing dues on time, Harthy said subsidiaries were directed to pay contracted SMEs within 15 days of completion of contract.
According to Harthy, the Code of Governance is expected to improve efficiency of state-owned companies, and achieve transparency, responsibility and accountability by avoiding conflict of interest.