Panama: PPP Bill to Third Debate, but with Changes

The removal of the disqualification from hiring natural and legal persons who have been sentenced for corruption is one of the most important changes made to the bill that creates the Public-Private Partnership Regime.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Although the bill has faced multiple obstacles, since a few days ago its discussion in the Assembly was suspended because workers and union sectors rejected the original bill, it was approved in the second debate, but with some changes. reports that "... During the permanent session, deputies Cenobia Vargas, Olivares Frias, Melchor Herrera, Ricardo Torres and Gonzalo Gonzalez, all from the Democratic Revolutionary Party, presented reforms to article 67. In this article, the disqualification from hiring natural and legal persons who have been convicted, in the 10 years preceding the hiring, by judicial sentence was eliminated." See draft bill.

You may be interested in "PPPs to Boost the Economy" and "Construction: Optimism for PPP Regulation

From the Assembly statement:

In the second debate, the regime of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) was approved, after welcoming more than 30 modifications that better defined its concept and objectives.
Among the changes to the original norm of Project No.12 was the constitution of the governing body with the participation of a representative of the National Assembly, and also with respect to the fact that companies condemned for corruption cannot participate in the works contracted through the PPPs.
With regard to the validity of the PPP contracts, it was 30 years, extendable for an additional period of ten years, and that state-owned banks can only finance up to 25% of the total works contracted through the system.
The governing body will be composed of the ministries of the Presidency, Economy and Finance, Public Works, Trade and Industry, Foreign Affairs and was added to a member of the National Assembly, in addition to the Comptroller General with their respective alternates.
It was also approved that no PPP contract be less than 15 million balboas, except for this measure that are developed under the protection of municipalities.
A large number of deputies considered that it is a way to boost the economy and generate jobs since the state does not have enough resources to promote the large projects that the country needs.
In the article it is made clear that the National Institute of Aqueducts and Sewers (IDAAN) is exempted from this regulation in order to dissipate rumors about a possible privatization of this entity.

More on this topic

Approval for PPPs

September 2019

After passing the three debates in the National Assembly, President Cortizo sanctioned the law creating the Public-Private Association regime in Panama.

According to the Law that came into the hands of the Executive, companies that are delinquent in the payment of fines for breach of contracts, will have limitations to participate in these public concession model.

Free Way for PPP Law

September 2019

In Panama, in the third debate, the bill creating the Public-Private Association regime was approved, which in its latest version set limitations on companies accused of acts of corruption.

According to the text approved and awaiting the approval of the Executive, companies that are delinquent in the payment of fines for breach of contracts, will also have limitations to participate in these public concession model.

PPP Law Discussion Suspended

August 2019

After the workers and union sectors rejected the bill creating the Public-Private Partnership Regime in Panama, the Assembly decided to suspend its discussion in the second debate.

Responding to the request to extend the period of consultations by a sector of the country, the plenary of the National Assembly suspended discussion of the second debate of Bill 12, which creates the Private Public Association Regime (APP) as a tool for the development of private sector investment, social and job creation, reported the government on August 27, 2019.

New Law for Public-Private Partnerships

August 2019

The National Assembly of Panama approved in first debate the bill establishing the Public-Private Partnership Regime.

On August 19, the Economy and Finance Commission approved in the first debate the project that seeks to regulate the contracts, generally long term, between the public and private sectors for the design, construction, repair, expansion, financing, operation, maintenance, administration and/or supply of projects and services such as roads, energy, telecommunications, public transportation, ports and water treatment, among others.

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