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Khalifa bin Zayed Issues Law Concerning Abu Dhabi Government's Financial System

Abu Dhabi 29 January 2017

His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, may Allah protect him, issued, as Ruler of Abu Dhabi, a law concerning the Abu Dhabi Government’s financial system.

The law seeks to set a comprehensive regulatory framework for public financial resources to guarantee that government work is conducted within an institutional framework with a high level of transparency and accountability in the management of public funds. 

The law assigns the Department of Finance the responsibility of designing and executing a comprehensive financial system with high economic effectiveness and efficiency according to the law’s provisions. The Department prepares the Government’s financial policy and submits it to the Executive Council for approval. The law covers budgeting and the budget’s implementation, treasury management, regulating the Government’s bank accounts and the bank accounts of public entities, institutions and companies, regulating and managing public debt and government bonds, preparing and issuing a financial monitoring system after approval from the Executive Council, issuing a public services pricing guide after approval from the Executive Council, and examining pricing requests from public entities.     The law also covers preparing an ownership policy for government institutions and companies, to be approved by the Executive Council, issuing rules and templates for their expected performance statements, and monitoring their financial performance and other government investments.  

Furthermore, the law forbids imposing, amending or removing any taxes unless through legislation and prohibits exempting anyone from these taxes except in the cases stated in the law. No fees may be imposed, amended or removed unless through legislation, Emiri decree or Executive Council resolution.

The law removed all tax and fee exemptions, including exemptions from customs fees that benefit government entities, institutions and companies, affiliated companies, or any other entity by virtue of a legislation or resolution enforced before this law came into force. An exception is made for institutions, companies and individuals working in free zones according to the legislation issued in this regard, and for entities the Executive Council decides to fully or partially exempt from fees and taxes for charitable, humanitarian, educational, cultural or any other reasons.  These provisions remain in line with federal laws and international agreements.

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According to this law, the Department of Finance shall prepare a Government Services Pricing Guide, to be considered a reference for setting the prices of services provided by government entities. It is based on fair cost and benefit considerations, and on market prices and economic costs.

The law further obliges every government entity, institution and company to prepare and issue semi-annual financial statements no later than 30 days after the middle of the fiscal year, and to issue audited annual financial statements no later than 90 days after the end of each fiscal year. A copy of these statements must be sent to the Department of Finance.

The Department of Finance is also tasked with organizing government procurement and tenders by establishing relevant regulatory and operational frameworks, and issuing the necessary regulations and systems to implement them after their approval by the Executive Council. It shall further develop and operate an IT platform for government procurement (procurement portal) to be used to register suppliers and electronically analyze spending, contracting and procurement for centralized and non-centralized contracts. Government entities must commit to using the portal for their purchases, especially for goods and services to be purchased through centralized contracts, and to signing these contracts with suppliers. 

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Press Release issued by the Office of Government Communication – General Secretariat of the Executive Council.        

© Press Release 2017

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