Thursday, November 12, 2009

Engineering Consultancy Partners

The Engineering Consultancy Law, Royal Decree 120 of 1994, requires foreign companies to engage a local Omani engineer partner in order to execute engineering work in Oman. The Engineering Consultancy Law specifies the requirements that apply to the Omani engineer partner, including the required education, experience, and reputation.

One issue facing foreign engineering companies in evaluating Omani engineer partner candidates is whether the Omani engineer must be educated and experienced in any particular engineering discipline. For example, if the company plans to engage in civil engineering work in Oman, must the Omani engineer partner be educated and experienced in civil engineering as well, or is another engineering discipline acceptable?

The Engineering Consultancy Law does not specify the answer to this question, but the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI), which is responsible for reviewing and approving engineering licenses, has clarified the matter in informal statements. Specifically, MOCI requires the Omani engineer partner to be educated and experienced in an engineering discipline that is related to the type of engineering work to be completed in Oman. For example, an architectural engineer in Oman cannot fulfill the local partner requirement for an engineering consultancy that plans to engage in petroleum engineering work because architecture and petroleum are not sufficiently related.