Tanzania: Ag Scrutinises 200 Contracts

THE Attorney General's Office has reviewed about 200 investment contracts, including those related to the exploration and production of oil and gas and complex agreements between investors and public entities.

This was revealed by the Attorney General, Prof Adelardus Kilangi, in Dar es Salaam yesterday, during the ceremony to officiate the Law Day, a signal for the official start of judicial functions in the country, where President John Magufuli was the guest of honour.

Prof Kilangi explained that his office was going on with the process of reviewing all power purchase agreements, starting with the one involving Songas Company, which is considered to be very problematic.

"Soon, the Attorney General's office will begin reviewing all investment agreements involving two countries (Bilateral Investment Treaties) and investment contracts among different countries, and Multilateral Investment Treaties that involves Tanzania," he further disclosed.

Expounding further on the matter, the Government's Chief Legal Advisor explained that already, his office has reviewed 13 Production Sharing Agreements and forwarded such report to the Prime Minister, while investment contracts involving public entities that have been reviewed are 182.

"The Attorney General's Office is also reviewing some 70 aid and credit agreements to check the productivity of some of the terms and conditions, in cluding exemption clauses contained in those contracts," Prof Kilangi also said.

In terms of national and international agreements, he said, his office has been able to reduce the contract review period from an average of two months to an average of one week to one contract, and they were continuing with strategies of reducing even that time.

He said that his office has developed guidelines that will assist in identifying issues to be considered in the contract search process and guidelines are in the final stages of finalisation before dissemination to stakeholders in ministries, independent departments, public entities, regional and local governments.

In the area of provision of legal advice, according to the AG, in 2019 his office provided advice to about 995 applications from the ministries, independent departments, public entities, regional and local governments, compared to about 60 applications in 2018.

Additionally, he said, the AG's Office has also participated in various forums and discussions where legal advice was required, including consultation in the UgandaTanzania pipeline, Standard Gauge Railway project, Natural gas recycling project (LNG) and Rufiji hydroelectric project, among others.

"Either, the Attorney General's Office has prepared guidelines for provision of legal advice to be distributed to all state attorneys in Tanzania so that advice provided by lawyers within the ministries, public entities, regional and local governments can take into account the national interest," he said.

The AG further pointed out that to enable Tanzanians to gain insight into the various legal issues in the country and to inform Tanzanians about the legal aspects, his office has registered a government legal journal which, once internal processes have been completed, will be published and distributed soon. "

But we are making arrangement of a system of publishing all the laws online so that everyone can easily access them," Prof Kilangi also said.

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