Public contracts in Panama to be altered

It's getting easier for government to buy public goods.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Law 41, which was passed and published in the Official Gazette last week, changed the rules of the game for two state institutions: the General Office of Public Contracts and the Administrative Tribunal for Public Contracts.
"They also strengthened the shape of bidding for framework agreements, which have been very successful and have allowed purchases of more than 15 million dollars just in 2008," said the head of general contracting, Edilberto Ruiz Miró.
"Now we can extend the application of these actions for up to two years, and then for two years more."
It will be easier for government officials to buy items like airplane tickets and other items that have required a lot of red tape in the past.

More on this topic

Panama: New Regulations for Public Procurement in Force

May 2011

The reform to regulate the procurement process undertaken by the Government becomes effective from today, May 12, 2011.

Law number 22, which regulates the country’s procurement process, has been reformed and signed by President Martinelli, and will take effect from this week.

Concerns in Panama due to Changes to Contract Law

April 2011

The bill to be approved by congress seeks to make procurement easier for the government by reducing tender timescale requirements, among other reforms.

Economy Minister, Alberto Vallarino, explains that the aim is to speed up the purchase of goods and services by the Panamanian government. However, businesses are concerned that this may damage the principal of competitive tender and that it encourages direct purchase.

Increase in Direct Purchases Limit in Guatemala

March 2009

The New State Purchases Law would increase the limit in direct purchases from $3,700 to $9,300

Additionally, the Comptroller General of Accounts is proposing that the direct purchase process should be done with a bidding stage. Carlos Menco, head of the Comptroller's Office, told the Periódico of Guatemala that "the proposal is for a bid to be published on the website for such acquisitions, but the competition should not go through the same terms as a tender."

No-bid contracts authorized in Panama

July 2008

Panama's National Assembly has passed a law decreasing the transparency of public spending. The new Law of Public Contracts allows the Executive Branch to contract consulting services of up to 300,000 dollars without going through the bidding process.

The legislation also includes a paragraph which includes in the category of "urgent local interest or social benefit" all energy and water projects.

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