Decision 37/2019 Issuing the Regulations of the OAC
Chapter One Definitions and General Provisions
In applying the Regulations, the following words and expressions shall have the meaning assigned to each of them respectively, unless the context requires otherwise:
- OCCI:The Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- OAC:The Oman Commercial Arbitration Centre
- The Board:The OAC Board of Directors
- The Chairman:The Chairman of the Board of Directors
- Permanent Committees:The Technical Committee, the Audit Committee, and the Advisory Committee
- CEO:The Chief Executive Officer of OAC
- Alternative Dispute Resolution Procedures:Alternative dispute resolution procedures, such as arbitration, mediation, and conciliation.
- Register:A register of arbitrators, mediators, conciliators, and experts that have been approved by OAC.
The OAC’s head office shall be situated in Muscat. However, subject to the Board’s approval, the Chairman may decide to establish branches in any of the governorates.
Chapter Two Oman Commercial Arbitration Centre (OAC)
The OAC shall comprise of:
- The Board;
- The Permanent Committees; and
- The Executive Management.
The OAC shall be responsible for:
- providing arbitration, mediation, conciliation and all other forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution services agreed to by the disputing parties for the resolution of local and international commercial disputes.
- providing consultations and the services necessary for commercial dispute resolution procedures.
- spreading awareness of commercial dispute resolution handled through Alternative Dispute Resolution Procedures.
- issuing and monitoring prospectuses and OAC’s printed matter.
- organizing conferences, seminars, lectures, training courses, and workshops concerning arbitration and other forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution.
- co-operating with local, regional, and international arbitration centres, and relevant bodies and organizations.
The management of the OAC shall be entrusted to the Board comprising nine (9) legal and other professional specialist members, provided however that three (3) of the nine members shall be from the private sector. The OCCI board of directors shall issue a decision for the appointment of all of the Board members.
- A Board member’s term of office shall be for four (4) Gregorian years commencing from the date of his or her appointment, and may be renewed only once, subject to the approval of the OCCI board of directors. However, the term of the first Board members shall be for two (2) years commencing from the date of their appointment.
- Where the term of the Board expires and a new Board is not constituted, the Board, under a reasoned decision by the OCCI board of directors, shall continue to carry out its functions and responsibilities until a new Board is constituted within a maximum period of one year from the expiry date.
The Board shall have all powers necessary to supervise, monitor, and follow-up the functions and responsibilities of the OAC. The Board shall in particular:
- set out and oversee the implementation of the general policy of the OAC.
- propose necessary amendments to these Regulations.
- approve arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution rules and OAC’s membership rules.
- approve administrative, financial and other regulations relevant to the operations of the OAC.
- approve the organizational structure of the OAC and determine detailed responsibilities of the administrative departments thereof.
- enter into memoranda of understanding with arbitration centres or other similar bodies.
- issue the regulations of Permanent Committees.
- appoint an auditor for the OAC and determine his/her remunerations.
- approve the annual budget and annual report on the operations and activities of the OAC.
- determine the amount of the fees which may be claimed by the OAC for any services it provides.
- the Board may delegate certain powers to the Chairman, the Technical Committee, or the CEO.
- Within 15 days of their appointment, the Board members shall convene their first meeting which shall be presided over by the oldest Board member. Such meeting shall, via secret balloting, elect from amongst the Board members a Chairman and a Deputy Chairman.
The Board shall appoint a secretary from the Executive Management.
During the same meeting, the Board shall elect members of the Permanent Committees as detailed below:
- the Technical Committee shall comprise of two (2) Board members and the CEO, provided, however, such committee shall, during its first meeting, elect from amongst the members of the committee a chairman and deputy chairman and shall appoint a secretary from the Executive Management.
- the Audit Committee shall comprise of three (3) Board members who are not on the technical committee provided, however, that such committee shall, during its first meeting, elect from amongst the three Board members a chairman and deputy chairman and shall appoint a secretary from the Executive Management.
- the Advisory Committee shall comprise of two (2) Board members and the CEO, provided, however, that such committee shall, during its first meeting, elect from amongst the members of the committee a chairman and deputy chairman and shall appoint a secretary from the Executive Management.
- subject to a Board decision, the number of members of the Permanent Committees may be increased by a maximum of two (2) members for each committee, provided however that such members are not on the Board but are specialists in the field in which the respective committee operates.
- If the office of the Chairman or Deputy Chairman of the Board becomes vacant, or if [any of them] [the Chairman or Deputy Chairman] fail[s] to discharge his/her duties permanently for whatsoever reason, the Board shall elect from amongst its members a substitute to serve for the remaining term of the Board. If the office of a Board member becomes vacant, a substitute shall be appointed in accordance with the provisions of Article (5) hereof.
- The Chairman shall convene at least four (4) general meetings each year, and shall convene additional meetings following any request for a meeting that has been submitted by at least three (3) Board members.
In all cases, the notice of any meeting shall be given at least fifteen (15) days prior to the meeting. The meeting agenda shall be attached thereto.
- Board meetings and deliberations shall be conducted in private and will be confidential.
- Subject to paragraph (6) of this Article, a Board meeting shall be valid if attended by the majority of the Board’s members. Members may attend such meeting through the use of proper modes of communication which allow video conferencing between the members without being present at one location provided, however, that the Board secretary shall be able to identify such members and record the meeting discussions.
- The Chairman of the Board shall preside over such meeting(s). If the Chairman of the Board is absent or unable to perform his/her responsibilities, the Deputy Chairman shall be a substitute in place of the Chairman.
- Subject to paragraph (6) of this Article, the Board shall adopt resolutions by a simple majority vote of the members present at the meeting. In case of a tie, the Chairman shall have the casting vote.
- Where a Board meeting proposes amendments to the Regulations herein or considers approval of arbitration rules and/or other forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution rules or rules and regulations of the OAC, or any amendments thereto, the resolution shall be adopted by a minimum of six (6) of the members present at the meeting.
- The Chairman and the Board secretary shall sign minutes of the Board meetings.
- In co-operation with the CEO, the secretary shall prepare a draft agenda for Board meetings. The Chairman shall approve the agenda.
A member’s term of office shall expire under the following circumstances:
- Demise or total disability.
- Member’s loss of capacity.
- Where the member is convicted, pursuant to a final judgment, of misdemeanor or a criminal offence relating to honor or trust, even if such a member has been rehabilitated.
- Where the member fails to attend three (3) consecutive Board meetings without a legal excuse acceptable to the Board.
A Board member’s resignation shall be in wiring and shall be submitted to the OCCI chairman. Such resignation shall, if there are no restrictions or conditions, be deemed as having been accepted after thirty (30) days from the date of its submission. OCCI’s board of directors may accept a resignation prior to the expiry of such period.
In performing its responsibilities, the Board may constitute temporary committees, as required, provided, however, that any decision constituting such committees shall set out their respective regulations.
The Board may dissolve such committees or release any of their members from his/her service, or reconstitute such committees as deemed appropriate by the Board.
The OAC shall have an Executive Management, which shall be responsible for:
- providing disputing parties with the names, qualifications, and expertise of arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators.
- receiving arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution applications, replies submitted thereto and all documents relevant to such applications and notifying the disputing parties of such applications.
- preparing a summary of each dispute and submitting the same to the CEO together with each arbitration or Alternative Dispute Resolution application.
- preparing and maintaining a record of and files for arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution applications submitted to the OAC. Keeping and maintaining original awards issued.
- notifying the disputing parties of the timelines and venue of hearings.
- providing co-ordination and translation services and proper venue(s) for hearings.
- providing information relating to arbitration and other forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution. Explaining the procedures followed for resolving disputes through arbitration and alternative dispute resolution.
- Preparing necessary forms in order to facilitate the procedures of arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution.
- Keeping, maintaining, and updating the list and addresses of arbitrators, mediators, conciliators, and experts registered with the OAC.
- submitting reports to the CEO on the tasks performed and on the future plans necessary for the achievement of OAC’s objectives.
- proposing improvements to the procedures of arbitration and other forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution.
- performing any task assigned by the CEO as well as other tasks necessary for running the affairs of the OAC.
The OAC shall have a CEO who is not a Board member. The CEO shall be appointed and contracted by a Board resolution. The Board shall have absolute authority to determine the privileges and financial remunerations given to the CEO.
The CEO shall supervise the Executive Management and OAC’s employees and shall, in particular:
- prepare the annual action plan and submit the same to the Board.
- prepare administrative, financial, and other regulations relating to OAC’s operations.
- prepare OAC’s annual report and submit the same to the Board.
- attend Board meetings and participate in the discussion of matters listed on the agenda without having the right to vote.
- represent OAC before third parties and courts.
- perform other responsibilities as determined by the Board.
Chapter Three Financial Resources of the Oman Commercial Arbitration Centre
The financial resources of the OAC shall be:
- funds allocated to it by the OCCI.
- fees received by OAC for resolving disputes.
- OAC membership fees.
- fees for services provided by the OAC.
- sale proceeds of prospectuses, printed matter, and activities, and programs organized by OAC.
- other resources approved by the Board.
- The CEO shall prepare the OAC’s draft annual budget and submit the same to the Board for approval, at least two (2) months prior to the end of the financial year.
- The OAC’s financial year commences on the 1st of January and ends on the 31st of December each year, except the first financial year; where it commences on the enactment date of these Regulations and ends on the 31st of December of the same year.
- The OAC’s accounts shall be audited by an auditor approved by the Capital Market Authority (CMA) provided, however, such auditor shall present the audited accounts to the Board for approval within four (4) months commencing from the end of the financial year.
Funds of the OAC shall be deposited into private accounts held with any bank licensed to operate in Oman provided however the Board shall set out in the financial regulation the rules and procedures for disbursement of such funds.
Chapter Four Final Provisions
The Law of Arbitration in Civil and Commercial Disputes (referenced above) shall apply to matters not covered by a special provision(s) in these Regulations or the OAC’s arbitration rules.
- The OAC’s list of arbitrators, mediators, conciliators, and experts shall encompass a sufficient number of law, economy, commerce, and engineering specialists as well as other specialties as set out in the membership regulations.
- Any person, who meets the membership requirements, may apply for registration with the CEO in the prescribed form. The CEO shall decide on the application within a maximum period of fourteen (14) days.
- The membership regulations shall set out the categories, requirements, terms, and fees of membership.
Board members, the CEO, and OAC’s employees shall not reveal or disclose any information or documents relating to the disputes or OAC’s operations.
All information provided by the disputing parties shall be treated as confidential. Any person who accesses such information shall not reveal or disclose such information without the parties’ approval or under a request by a competent judicial body.
Arbitration and other forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution rules, regulations, forms, records, and other documents shall be prepared in Arabic and English. The Arabic text shall prevail in case of discrepancy between the two languages.
The Social Insurance Law issued by Royal Decree 72/91 shall apply to OAC’s employees.