Nearly a dozen engineering firms in Qatar have been banned from operating in the country and a further 87 companies fined for failing government spot checks, according to local media reports.
The official licenses to operate in Qatar were withdrawn from nine unnamed companies by a committee that is part of the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME), the Peninsula said.
The report did not give specific reasons for the license cancelations but said that committee inspectors had investigated and upheld complaints lodged against the firms.
More widely, violations detected during investigations of offices and construction sites included an absence of engineers on site and working engineers who had not registered with the government, committee chairman Khalid Al Sadd reportedly said.
All engineers and engineering firms in Qatar are required to register before they can officially be allowed to operate in Qatar, according to Law No. 2 of 2014.
Individuals must sign up to the register of engineers. For Qatari firms, there’s a register of local engineering consultancy offices, and global companies must register with international engineering consultancy offices, according to details on the MME’s website.
Engineers’ registration lasts for three years, while company registration is valid for two years.
Individuals and firms that fail to register are fined up to QR1,000 per engineer and QR10,000 for companies per month, up to a maximum of three months.
If they have still not completed their registration after three months, their license to operate is revoked, according to details of the legislation published by law firm Al Tamimi.
A violator may only re-enroll once all fines and registration fees are paid.
The MME’s engineers and engineering offices accrediting and classifying committee oversees the registration, and investigates complaints against individuals and companies, with the power to impose fines or strike off companies who do not comply.
Inspections of construction sites and engineering firms will continue through this year, the Peninsula reported Al Sadd as saying.
The government has recently stepped up oversight of engineers and engineering firms operating in Qatar.
It imposed a deadline of Jan. 31 on all individuals and consultancies to register, but this caused problems for thousands of Filipino engineers who were unable to register their education and work experience certificates.
Around 12,000 Filipino architects and engineers are thought to have been affected. In order to register, all individuals need to have completed 12 years of basic education, however in the Philippines the primary and high school career was only 10 years long.
After intervention from Philippines government officials, the rule was relaxed to give professionals from the country a year in order to undertake an exam which, if they pass, will give them an equivalency certificate which will enable them to register.