In an exclusive interview Mohammed Khalifa Bin Hammad discussed how an innovative service is enhancing collaboration between JOPs Management Companies, Owners Committees, and Service Providers in Dubai.
Dubai's integrated system, Mollak, which regulates and supports parties dealing with jointly-owned properties, is taking a significant step forward with the introduction of a new service called Munaqasat (bidding). This service aims at enhancing transparency and regulation in the tendering process within the Jointly-Owned Property (JOP) sector.
To shed light on this innovative service and its impact on strengthening the relationship between the JOPs Management Companies, Owners Committees and Service Providers, REM TIMES had an exclusive interview with Mohammed Khalifa Bin Hammad, Senior Director at the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) - Land Department, Government of Dubai.
Explaining the concept behind Munaqasat, Bin Hammad stated, "When it comes to defining the service charge, management professionals are often looking for the best services at the lowest price. However, the market was responding with higher prices. We named this initiative Munaqasat, the Arabic word for tenders, to emphasise that service providers are bidding to provide the best services at the most competitive price possible."
Munaqasat service will be enforced at the start of each financial year, January 1st to December 31st, with strict submission deadlines for financial audits by the end of March the following year. Non-compliance leads to a suspension of payment from the previous period, unless approved by RERA with valid justifications.
While this measure may be perceived as putting pressure on some management companies, its purpose is to ensure that services are provided promptly and payments to service providers are made within the same financial year. Timely invoicing of service charges is also a key objective.
To streamline the tendering process, management companies must submit their 2024 budgets by October 2023, as mentioned earlier. And based on these budgets, tenders will be floated for service providers to participate.
The Munaqasat section provides an open-ended and transparent process for service providers in the JOP sector to register as suppliers with the required information. Each supplier receives a unique username and password. This ensures that all registered service providers can access relevant tenders based on their registered activities, eliminating favoritism or malpractices. Service providers can bid only for specific activities alone.
The section also allows service providers to declare conflicts of interest, with final approval subject to RERA's evaluation.
The new system makes it mandatory for management companies to float all tenders through the Munaqasat feature. Bin Hammad, explains that the technical personnel can upload tasks, grade companies, and provide recommendations, while finance representatives evaluate the technical aspects and assign prices to each required service. The average of the technical and finance scores determines the final tender selection. Management companies have the authority to view all bids and make informed decisions on awarding contracts for the specific activities.
In the future, the feature will be available for the registered owner committee to view the tenders.
RERA monitors and regulates the entire process, having the authority to approve or reject service providers and budgets if requirements are not met. “This ensures the absence of conflicts of interest and favoritism, while promoting fair market prices and equal opportunities for all service providers,” says Bin Hammad.
“It is important for management companies to identify all services required for the upcoming year in the accounting budget. A breakdown of services must be defined, and the recommended prices are sent automatically to the service accounting code set in Mollak system to prevent manipulation,” says Bin Hammad.
RERA will not accept any Service Charge Budget without auditor approval. To expedite the auditing process, digital services will be utilized, and the budget will undergo a three-stage approval process.
The three stages of process are as follows:
Here the third parties who are providing such as auditors, reserve studies and property inspection. ets which will be subject to RERA final approval in a fair manner to review the budgets after the Management companies raise the recommendation through Munaqasat.
The system's capabilities extend beyond tender submission and online agreement signing. By 2024, owners will have the right to evaluate service provider performance through the platform. This feedback will be visible to other stakeholders and owners, enabling performance-based evaluations of service providers.
RERA's introduction of the Munaqasat feature represents another significant step towards enhancing the partnership between Community Management and Services Providers. This move ensures fair rights and obligations for both parties, resulting in a balanced equation where CM needs the services and needs the business. When executed correctly, this collaboration enhances the customer journey, providing a happier and simpler experience.
In conclusion, the Munaqasat feature's implementation within the Mollak system signifies a pivotal moment in Dubai's JOP sector. By promoting transparency, fairness, and streamlined processes, this initiative aims to foster stronger relationships between Owners Committees, Owners and Service Providers while delivering quality services at competitive prices.