Central tendering : an evaluation of the Kuwait experience
In 1964 the government of Kuwait established the Central Tenders Committee (CTC). Its aims were fivefold: 1) to control the major areas of government spending on services and development projects; 2) to reduce the expenses of government departments when buying from private suppliers and to ensure the highest quality of provision; 3) to organise, standardise and unite all tendering procedures for all government departments through the CTC; 4) to avoid breach of trust between government departments and employees; 5) to treat all contractors who tender with fairness and avoid favouritism throughout the tender procedures. The thesis evaluates the economic role of central tendering within a particular sociopolitical context: that of Kuwait, and highlights the organisational nature of the slow responding and highly bureaucratic CTC. The implications of this for a dynamic business culture are stressed, and the differences between the CTC as formal model and the reality are discussed. Further attention is paid to the question of who benefits from this process of tendering. It is clear that the impact on the state of this system is variable, despite the initial hopes for the CTC, but there is no obvious pattern of advantage for particular types of companies or countries. A questionnaire was circulated to a sample of CTC employees, clients, customers, and suppliers. Little has been attempted elsewhere to evaluate a CTC approach, leading to a lack of information and research. It was hoped that by the tool of the questionnaire method, light could be thrown on the relative advantagesa nd caseo f use of the CTC mechanism. The five fold aims of the CTC are recognised as being worthy and relevant, with evidence that with some exceptions all are being met to a greater or lesser degree, but that simplification of the procedures and a speeding up of the process would release many more benefits.