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Thursday, 5 July 2018

Council of State’s legislative division signs off on draft legislation establishing sovereign wealth fund

LEGISLATION WATCH- The Council of State’s legislative division signed off yesterday on draft legislation that would establish Egypt’s first sovereign wealth fund, Al Shorouk reports. The law is expected to govern the structure and functions of the fund, which will have authorized capital of EGP 200 bn and initial paid-in capital of EGP 5 bn. Planning Minister Hala El Saeed hopes the law will pass during the current legislative term. A reading of a draft in April had claimed that the law would give the fund financial and legal independence. El Saeed had said last month that the fund would launch at the end the year, with a roadshow to draw in private investment set to take off in 1H2019. The private sector will be allowed to buy stakes of over 50% in sub-funds and affiliated companies, she had also said.

In other legislative news, a draft Data Protection Act is expected to be presented to the House of Representatives in October, after the start of the new legislative session. The 51-article bill is currently being drafted and finalized by the Justice Ministry before it’s presented to the Madbouly Cabinet, said Mohamed Hegazy, the head of the ICT Ministry’s legislative committee. Under the law, only companies with permits to share user data will be allowed to do so, with the condition being that they obtain users’ prior approval, according to Hegazy. He tells Al Mal that the bill is “compatible with the principles of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation” on data privacy and treatment, as well as user accountability.

The law will also allows users the right to take legal action against data breaches and misuse of private information, he adds. It will also set fines of up to EGP 5 mn for violations as well as prison sentences of up to three months, based on the severity of the crime. The Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) will be the sole authority responsible for implementing the new law. We had first heard of legislation for data protection in November last year.

Public Contracts Act sets conditions for awarding direct order contracts: Also IN legislation, the Public Contracts Act (previously known as the Tenders and Auctions Act) reportedly sets seven conditions under which the government would be allowed to bypass the tendering process and award contracts via direct order. For example, if only one company is truly qualified to take on the project or if the project too time-sensitive to wait for a tender. You can view the full list here courtesy of Al Shorouk. The act — which decentralizes tendering procedures and streamlines the selection process for winning bids — received a preliminary nod from the House of Representatives on Monday and is expected to come to a plenary session vote soon.

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