UAE: MoF issues new law on public-private partnerships
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UAE: MoF issues new law governing public-private partnerships

UAE: MoF issues new law governing public-private partnerships

The new law will accelerate the implementation of projects that offer added value for public funds, minimise financial and operational risks to the government

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The Ministry of Finance (MoF) issued a new law that covers the general regulatory framework for partnerships between federal government bodies and the private sector.

Federal Decree-Law No 12 of 2023 on public-private partnerships aims to encourage the private sector to participate in developmental and strategic projects.

It will enable an increase in investment in federal government projects of social and economic value, and enable the government to efficiently implement strategic projects.

The new law – which entered into force on December 1, 2023 – aims to improve the quality and effective management of public services.

It applies to any partnership project that is proposed by a federal entity and wholly or partially funded by the private sector.

It will encourage knowledge and expertise transfer from the private sector to federal entities, and train and qualify employees of federal entities in the UAE to manage and operate projects.

The new law will accelerate the implementation of projects that offer added value for public funds, minimise financial and operational risks to the government, enhance the management of some infrastructure projects and public services, and raise the competitiveness of projects in local, regional and global markets.

Exemptions under the new public-private partnerships decree-law

According to the MoF, the law also specifies exemptions, which include partnership contracts that were entered into before the law’s enforcement date, outsourced services specified in the Partnership Projects Manual, projects whose value is less than the limit specified in the Partnership Projects Manual, public asset and service privatisation projects, as well as supply and procurement contracts related to national security specified in the Partnership Projects Manual, and federal entities, sectors, and projects that are exempt under UAE Cabinet Decisions.

Ensuring business continuity

The law ensures the continuation of the implementation of Cabinet Resolution No (1/1) of 2017 on the procedures manual for partnership between federal entities and private sector and Cabinet Resolution No (4/8) of 2019 on the procedures manual for partnership between public and private sectors in the UAE, until the issuance of the Partnership Projects Manual, as long as they do not conflict with the law, according to the ministry.

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