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The ‘Construction Council’ Bill 2019 – A Critique. By Dr Amer K. Hirmis*


The nearly year-old cabinet of Adel Abdul-Mahdi, the prime minister, has, in its regular weekly meeting on Tuesday, September 17, 2019, “approved the draft ‘Construction Council’ Bill [Miswadat Qānūn ‘Majlis al-I’mār’ – 2019] and forwarded it to the Council of Representatives”- the Iraqi Parliament for approval ( The establishment of a ‘Construction Council’ [i] (henceforth Council) was promised in the 2018-22 Ministerial Programme presented to parliament in October 2018 by the Prime Minister (henceforth PM).

The “Mandating Reasons” for enacting the Council Bill include “implementing the large projects effectively, adopting good planning, administration, monitoring and operation as well as creating new jobs, upskilling the employees, with (active) involvement of the domestic and foreign private sector, as primary financiers of projects, in accordance with international norms and standards.”

[i] The name ‘Construction Council’ (Arabic – ‘Majlis al-I’mār’) is a linguistic Arabic construct, which could easily be interchangeably used as ‘Development Board’; an English translation for the Arabic name (‘Majlis al-I’mār’) adopted by the Iraqi government when ‘Majlis al-I’mār’ was founded in 1950 to construct major infrastructure projects. It was abolished in 1958, following the overthrow of the Monarchy in July of that year. Indeed Article 31 of the current draft ‘Construction Council’ Bill forwarded to the Parliament states that “the Development Board and Development Ministry Law 27 of 1953 shall be abolished.”

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