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Sunday, 3 November 2019

Gov’t issues Public Contracts Act executive regulations

REGULATION WATCH- Gov’t issues executive regulation for Public Contracts Act: The government has issued the executive regulations of the Public Contracts Act, according to a Finance Ministry statement on Friday. The statement was very light on details, but reiterated previous statements that the regs would set up an e-procurement system for the government. It would also mandate that the government solicit the participation of SMEs in national projects through the SMEs Development Authority to stimulate their contribution in national projects. The regulations lengthen the payment period for tender participants, and cap the required insurance to bid on the project at 1.5% of the estimated value of the project.

The statement does not address concerns that the new act would allow the government to expand the use of no-bid contracts except to say that the regs would fight “monopolies” and “concentration of economic power.” The Madbouly Cabinet had signed off on recommendations from a government committee allowing the government to use no-bid contracts for unspecified projects. While the recommendations still require that direct order agreements comply with the Public Contracts Act (previously known as Auctions and Tenders Act), the decision had gotten flak from the foreign press, which claimed the move would open the door for corruption.

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