|Jose Mondaca||Manola Quiroz|
In recent times Chile has been a leader in Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiatives, with public work concessions amounting to roughly $8 billion and ranging from tollroads and airports to prisons and hospitals. Recently, the Chilean Concessions Law was subject to the following amendment:
A Board of Concessions was created, which, among other functions,
advises the Ministry of Public Works (Mop) as granting authority, on the convenience to agree on new investments in order to increase the services and technical levels set out in the bidding terms.
A permanent Technical Panel has been established to resolve the technical and economic discrepancies between the Mop and the concession company, prior to a request for arbitration.
The Arbitration Panel which resolves the disputes between the Mop and the concession company shall now act as arbitrator-at-law (resolve in accordance with the law) with regard to the substance of the dispute instead of acting ex aequo et bono (as it was empowered before).
The concessionaire has the right to apply for financial compensation if an amendment to the works or services is requested by a public authority and differs from the bidding terms.
The Mop and the concessionaire can agree on changes to the characteristics of the works and services, in order to increase the services and technical levels set out in the bidding conditions.
It is expected that the Mop will enter into a massive concession program, so as to allow the country to rapidly recover from a recent devastating earthquake. In this regard, hospitals and roads are likely to be on the shortlist for new bidding processes.
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