Egypt: Gov. Decree Allows Disposal of State-Owned Real Estate through Direct Agreement

Egypt’s Official Gazette published on Saturday Decree No. 25 of 2019 issued by Prime Minister Dr. Mostafa Madbouly, which allows disposal of real estate “through direct agreement in urgent cases”.

The Prime Minister’s decree allows government bodies to dispose of state-owned real estate, including sale, lease or licensing use or exploitation for achievement of social and economic considerations required by the public interest, according to Article 80 of the law regulating contracts concluded by public authorities.

The decree also stipulates that the administrative entity requesting permission for dealing through direct agreement should take necessary measures to verify the following:

1- The urgent need for disposal of state-owned real estate through direct agreement “to achieve social and economic considerations required by the public interest”.

2- Availability of technical competence, financial capability and good reputation in the person or entity to be dealt with.

3- Availability of justification for requesting permission to deal through direct agreement.

After Sisi had led a coup against Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, the interim president appointed by the military junta issued Decree no. 82 of 2013 to amend the public bids and tenders law, allowing the government to conclude agreements with contractors through “direct allotment” in “urgent” matters for construction projects worth up to LE 10 million.

Later, Sisi’s Presidential Decree no. 48 of 2014 decided to count the Arab Organization for Industrialization (AOI), that is, military bodies, eligible to benefit from this law and receive direct government contracts – although it is legally still an “international organization”.

Mohamed al-Dahshan, an economist, traced and calculated the number and value of the publicly announced government contracts that the military won between September and November 2013: finding out that they reached LE 7 billion during the course of only two months.

This raises many questions around most economic decrees and laws issued by al-Sisi government since the military coup in 2013.