Under the shadow of sharia law : the implementation of Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) provisions by Saudi Arabian government tenders and procurement law

Alzaben, Abdulla Ali

May 2016

Thesis or dissertation

© 2016 Abdulla Ali Alzaben. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

This research is a scientific study about the approach of sharia law to the implementation of the requirements of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) in government tenders and procurement law in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia has reformed its legal system in order to be part of the WTO. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia has adopted measures to liberalize its procurement market, as it modified the procurement law in 2006. However, Saudi Arabia is not party to the GPA. The protective measures and lack of transparency are the main characteristics of the procurement law which contradict the main principles of the GPA which are transparency and non-discrimination.

The impact of joining the WTO for Saudi Arabia was fruitful, as the quality of goods and services has been improved, and also the settlement of trade disputes has become professional. Therefore, as Saudi Arabia suffers from the low quality of products and services in some sectors, and stalled projects have become a relatively common feature, the main aim of this research is to bridge the gap between the GPA and procurement law.

The chapters of this research will discuss the legitimacy of the GPA in the eyes of sharia law, which is the main source for all Saudi laws. The main contradiction between the GPA and procurement law will be reconciled according to the public interest methods which are approved by sharia law.

The research considers some cases from the Board of Grievances [the administrative court] as well as some of the Council of Ministers’ decisions in Saudi Arabia. They show that there is an urgent need to reform the procurement law provisions, in particular provisions related to transparency and non-discrimination. In addition, these provisions might be the main reasons for the delay in joining the GPA by Saudi Arabia.

Law School, The University of Hull
Varney, Mike, 1979-; Bovis, Christopher
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