Saudi Arabia: Details of Implementing Regulations to Privatisation Law Announced

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Saudi Arabia: Details of Implementing Regulations to Privatisation Law Announced

Saudi Gazette, 24 January 2022: Well-placed sources have given details of the Implementing Regulations to the Privatisation Law to local media.

Among other provisions, the minimum value of Public and Private Partnership or PPP projects is 200 million Riyals.

The minimum value for the PPP project will be calculated by the executive authority on the basis of the total expected nominal value during the project once the capital and operating expenditures have been estimated as well as the potential financial obligations on the Treasury and the financial revenues expected to be obtained by the Government.

The Regulations are aimed at organising the work of privatisation projects and clarifying the procedures and mechanism of the relevant workflows.

They include detailed provisions necessary to implement the Privatisation Law and the detailed governance framework regulating projects and tasks and responsibilities of various parties involved in privatisation projects as well.

In addition, they clarify the Law and list the principles of privatisation and project plan implementation priorities as well as public-private partnership methods.

The National Centre for Privatisation will be responsible for implementing privatisation initiatives and opportunities in 16 sectors. The aim is to provide the best services in line with the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

The executive authority can include more than one project of a similar nature to achieve the minimum stipulated project value in the Law. If the minimum is not achieved and the relevant body considers it is better to continue offering the project related to the infrastructure or public service, the rules and regulations will then apply to it.

Under the regulations, 10 working days will be given to complete the procedures from the date of announcing the list of persons who expressed their desire to compete in the privatisation project. The regulations are aimed at encouraging investors to increase their participation in the national economy.

The regulations go on to define the principles which should be observed when implementing projects. These are fairness, transparency, contract enforcement, planning and feasibility. There are also special controls for studying privatisation projects and preparing the project document in the relevant form to enable the Government to consider it.

There are controls and requirements associated with the offering as well, which ensure real competition and protect the public interest and integrity and fairness in the procedures for offering and awarding projects. There should be impartiality for all participants and no conflicts of interests.

There are provisions on procedures for transferring the ownership of assets, the mechanisms for offering, implementing and contracting them and the conditions and controls necessary to achieve this. Finally, there are provisions on governance. They cover the contract management phase, monitoring of project implementation and commitments by the private sector party in the contract. Public-private partnership contracts will last for 30 years or more.

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