On Tuesday January 14, 2020, the House of Representatives adopted, with 137 votes for and one vote against, the draft law No. 46-18 amending and supplementing law No. 86-12 relating to Public-Private Partnership contracts presented by Mr. Mohamed BENCHAABOUN, Minister of the Economy, Finance and Administration Reform.
Law No. 46-18 made several amendments. These include extending the scope of application to other public bodies, particularly local authorities and legal persons governed by public law within these authorities, since these entities are responsible for carrying out a significant part of public investment. Governance adapted to regional and local specificities, and the establishment of a "National Public-Private Partnership Commission" with the Head of Government, are also among the amendments made. The main mission of this commission is to put in place a national PPP strategy and to adopt, among other things, a national annual and / or multi-year PPP program and to set the conditions and modalities in favor of greater flexibility, in terms of the prior assessment procedure and the negotiated procedure. Moreover, two other amendments were introduced by Law No. 46-18. These involve simplifying the Unsolicited Bid Proposal Process and clarifying the conditions for using the negotiated procedure, as well as aligning the provisions of the law with those of sectorial laws which provide for the use of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) contracts.
In addition to the adjustments made to the law, the current regulatory texts will be revised according to the above-mentioned amendments and new texts will be adopted for the implementation of the new provisions, in particular with regard to PPPs at local level, governance following the establishment of the National Commission etc.
Furthermore, it is clear that the fluidity and flexibility of the Public-Private Partnership process are among the key objectives of the new law No. 46-18. In fact, in addition to the implementation of the legal framework at a practical level, the amendments made aim to make the procedures in force regarding PPPs more flexible and to strengthen the performance of the public and private sectors so that all market players can contribute to the socio-economic development of the country, particularly through the financing by way of private capital of major projects with a strong impact on growth and job creation. The complementarity of the technical, managerial, financial and legal capacities of the private and public spheres is likely to contribute to the implementation of sectorial strategies, particularly in the vital sectors of water, energy, farmers, health and education; to promote regional and local socio-economic development; to attract more national and international investors to carry out innovative projects within the framework of the unsolicited bid proposal process and possibly within the framework of the negotiated procedure; and to promote new technologies, innovation and the transfer of know-how. The complementarity of the public and private sectors will also allow the emergence of national reference groups in the economic sectors; the consolidation of the dynamics of SMEs, very small businesses and startups through subcontracting and the establishment of consortia for medium and small PPP projects; the reform of financial and legal engineering skills for innovative ventures taking into account the specificities of each project according to sectorial and regional characteristics; and finally the flexibility of the screening procedure according to the nature and size of the PPP project in order to increase the number of PPP projects.