Public-Private Partnerships: Progress on the Bill

The Special Commission on Infrastructure of the Costa Rican Assembly endorsed the bill that seeks to regulate the schemes for the development of public-private partnership projects.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

The initiative, which has yet to go beyond the debate in the Legislative Plenary, establishes the processes and modalities for promoting private investment for the development of public infrastructure, public services and services related to these, applied research projects and/or technological innovation.

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From the Legislative Assembly's statement:

February 25th, 2020. The deputies that make up the Special Committee on Infrastructure unanimously approved with six votes the file 21,420 National Law for the Development, Promotion and Management of Public-Private Partnerships.

The proposal aims to regulate the schemes for the development of public-private partnership projects by establishing the processes and modalities for promoting private investment for the development of public infrastructure, public services and services related to these, applied research projects and / or technological innovation under the principles of legality, free competition, competition, objectivity, impartiality, transparency, publicity, solidarity, efficiency, sustainability and promotion of citizen participation.

One of the initiative's proponents, liberationist legislator Luis Fernando Chacón Monge, said that with this legislation the country is placed at the level of other nations where the construction of public works is promoted with greater force. According to the project, the Public Administration must develop and maintain a bank of projects of public interest to develop in the short, medium and long term.

This project bank is of public nature and must be included in the electronic pages and databases of each unit, so that potential investors or interested parties have all the information related to these projects, which must be linked to the strategic plans and legal purposes of the body or institution in particular.

Regarding the project bank, PAC legislator Luis Ramón Carranza Cascante said that it should be carefully analyzed in which institution this bank will be in the hands of and whether it will be the National Concessions Council or in each region the municipalities will have one.

It is established that for the selection of contractors for public-private partnership projects of public initiative, the pre-qualification system must be used, under the conditions established by the regulations and other complementary regulations. The bylaws may establish mechanisms so that, if additional studies are required, these can be carried out or contracted by the prequalified companies.



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Free Way for PPP Law

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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

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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

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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.

PPPs to Boost the Economy

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For Panama's business sector, public-private partnerships are contracts that, if properly implemented, could promote the dynamism of the economy and at the same time diminish the fiscal pressure on the State budget.

The Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama has promoted since the beginning of the current government administration, a draft bill that creates the Public-Private Partnership Regime (PPP), given that this document would promote the development of the country, explained the business guild through a statement.

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