Move to outsource government services to private sector

MUSCAT, MAY 4 – In a landmark effort to enhance service delivery while also reducing the cost burden on the public sector, Oman’s Ministry of Finance plans to outsource a number of government-provided services to the private sector. The move is part of a raft of initiatives being implemented under the auspices of the Implementation Support & Follow-up Unit (ISFU) of the Diwan of Royal Court to help strengthen Oman’s investment environment and the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ in the Sultanate.

“The practice of outsourcing involves assigning companies in the private sector to manage one or more business services to perform tasks, handle operations or provide services which are either usually executed, or had previously been done, by the government,” explained ISFU in a new report. The high-powered Unit, which is overseeing the speedy and coordinated implementation of a large portfolio of projects and initiatives conceived under Tanfeedh (The National Programme for Enhancing Economic Diversification), says the outsourcing initiative will further strengthen Oman’s private sector.

“The aim of this initiative is to enhance the quality of services, and decrease the expenses of the government, by enabling government entities to be confident in private sector companies providing services on behalf of the government,” it said. The Ministry of Finance, supported by ISFU, initially identified eight government services suitable for contracting out to the private sector. This number has since increased to 14 services, according to the ISFU report. “The year 2019 will see a redesign of the initiative’s scope to focus on more complex services and more regular follow-ups to accelerate the process of outsourcing services from government entities,” the Unit added.