President Cortizo approves Public Procurement Law
President of the Republic Laurentino Cortizo approved the Law 153 on 8 May 2020 that regulates the procurement. The new law was declared in the Official Gazette on Friday.
The new Law 153 which was published in the Official Gazette and signed by Cortizo and the Minister of Economy and Finance, Héctor Alexander , introduces 75 modifications to Law 22, which governs public procurement in the country. It will come into effect in four months.
The new law disqualifies for three years natural and legal persons that enter into judicial collaboration agreements or penalty agreements that recognize the commission of crimes against public administration, economic order, collective security, economic heritage and against public faith.
Number 9 of 12 articles of the Law 153 (which modifies article 19 of Law 22) states: “Whoever enters into judicial collaboration or penalty agreements recognizing the commission of criminal acts against the public administration, crimes against the economic order, collective security, crimes against economic heritage or crimes against the public faith. In any case, the inability to contract will not extend more than three years. Those whose effective collaboration has led to the clarification of the crime to prevent other crimes from taking place or when the information provided has been essential to discover its actors or participants are exempt from this assumption."
In the proposal earlier vetoed by Cortizo, the deputies disqualified the companies accused of corruption but without setting a term. The Executive argued that this "was irrelevant", because it violates the legal effects of article 32 of the Constitution, due to the imposition of an administrative sanction on a person who is under investigation.
The law also disqualifies companies and individuals convicted by a final judicial sentence for the commission of crimes against the public administration and other crimes for five years.
In the case of companies, the legal incapacity to contract for a maximum period of five years is also contemplated, "when they are sentenced by a final judicial sentence for the crimes described above, by a Panamanian or foreign court, provided that the crime is linked to the activities of the company or its affiliated, consortium or shareholder companies ”.