Business openings through Public-private partnerships Act (PPP) in Bulgaria

The Public-Private Partnership Act (PPPA) of Bulgaria is going to strengthen openings in construction, maintenance or operation of technical and social infrastructure conveniences.

 

The legal meaning of a public- private partnership (PPP) predicts a long-term cooperation contract (from 5 to 35 years), whereby the private partner operates in the public interest and provides funding for its activities, while the public partner is involved through various forms of financial support specifically defined in the act.

 

Public-private partnerships can happen when performing public interest activities cannot be awarded under the Public Procurement Act, the Concession Act or the Subsurface Resources Act.

 

Another condition for such collaboration is "achieving better value for invested public resources," i.e. better efficiency in their spending, "allocating risks between the partners."

 

In order to protect state and municipal interests for the duration of the PPP, the law prohibits the transfer of ownership from the public to the private partner. The private partner is given the opportunity to solely maintain and manage public property, where such has been granted.

 

This model of cooperation is applied in other EU member states such as Spain, Greece, Great Britain and France.

 

At the national level, such business projects are applied through the application of the National Program for Public-Private Partnership, as approved by the Council of Ministers. Annual Operational Plans are also adopted.

 

 At the local level, public-private partnerships are handled by municipal councils in their respective municipal development plans, which are being implemented by mayors.

 

It is impossible to reveal a PPP project without it being included in an operational plan, or a municipal development plan respectively,.

 

The PPP contract can be settled 14 days after officially notifying all stakeholders of the choice of a public partner, apart from in cases when the nominated participant is the sole stakeholder.

 

The pronouncement on selecting a private partner can be appealed before the Commission for Protection of Competition, while the commission's decision can be appealed before the Supreme Administrative Court.

 

The newly adopted PPPA creates the legal basis for a new incentives instrument for promoting private investment in business activities.

 

The legislator’s target is to fill in the gaps, related to the realisation of PPP projects, omitted by current sector specific legislation (the Public Procurement Act, the Concession Act, and the Subsurface Resources Act).

 

The consequence of this new form of cooperation between the public and private sectors is still to be determined in the years to come.