The Law on Public Procurement 2006 has recently been amended. The new legislation affords greater flexibility to contracting authorities when conducting public procurement procedures. It introduces new institutions, definitions and special contracts, new elements to administration procedures and new exemptions from the application of public procurement procedures.
The Concessions (Amendment) Law has brought about several key changes to the Concessions Law. The Public Procurement Agency will no longer cover concessions - this role will now be performed by the newly established Concessions Agency. The agency will report directly to the prime minister and its organization will be determined by the Council of Ministers.
The Council of Ministers has established that all public procurement procedures shall be carried out in electronic form from the end of January 2009. The new system creates flexibility, reduces the cost and time involved in the preparation of documents and increases efficiency, transparency and confidentiality of data.
Concessions have become an increasingly important form of public-private partnership in Albania, being particularly utilized in projects for the construction or rehabilitation of hydropower plants. Several amendments were introduced late last year to the existing Concessions Law, including consolidation of the lender step-in right and changes to the way contracts are approved.
Concessions are now governed by the new Law on Concessions (9663/2006). A 'concession' is defined as an agreement between a concessionaire and a public administrative body whereby the concessionaire undertakes, among other things, to perform an economic activity which would otherwise have been performed by the contracting authority.