An evaluation of contracting out government services in a privatisation context in the Sultanate of Oman

  • Mohammed Nasser Al-za'abi

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    "Contracting out" government services, as a method of privatisation, has been extensively used in Oman since 1979. The author's organisation has adopted it since 1993 in response to the challenges it faces in providing the operation and maintenance services required by its clients.

    This study evaluates the "Contracting Out" experience at the author's organisation. It looks at the motivating factors, implementation difficulties and the overall effectiveness of contracted out projects in achieving the organisation's objectives in terms of the anticipated benefits.

    The research is carried out by means of an exploratory stage to arrive at the motivating reasons for "Contracting Out" followed by three in-depth case studies of "Contracting Out" projects implemented under the organisation's privatisation initiative. The author's extensive experience with the process together with documentation review, semistructured interviews, and comparisons of before and after "Contracting Out" data were used to evaluate the initiative outcomes.

    The results show that the main motivating reason for considering "Contracting Out", amongst other reasons, was the need to affect savings in the organisation's current operating costs. Many of the problems associated with implementing "Contracting Out" projects were as a direct result of the lack of transparency and clarity in the procedures for the different stages of projects implementation.

    The conclusion of the research is that "Contracting Out" the organisation's in-house services has been effective in meeting its objectives, especially the cost saving element, which addresses its main motivating factor. The success of "Contracting Out" projects is found to be largely dependant on how effective the change from in-house provision to private sector provision is managed.

    The research has shown that there is room for improving the present "Contracting Out" procedures and systems at the organisation, which can lead to improved management of the process. Recommendations are put forward to achieve these improvements.
    Date of AwardDec 2004
    Original languageEnglish

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