Government Issues New Guidelines for Foreign Deals

Government Debt

In a move to streamline agreements with foreign deals, including governments, the government has recently issued comprehensive guidelines. These guidelines focus on agreements and memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with foreign governments or private entities not covered by the existing Rules of Business, 1973.

The Cabinet Division acknowledged a recurring influx of queries pertaining to agreements and MOUs with foreign entities falling outside the scope of the Rules of Business, 1973. In response, an Inter-Ministerial meeting was conducted to deliberate on the procedural aspects of entering into MOUs and agreements with private entities from foreign countries. The primary objective was to determine the entities that qualify as “Government” and “Foreign Government.”

The recommendations that emerged from this meeting are crucial for entities such as state-owned corporations, autonomous bodies, and public sector enterprises under the administrative control of a Government Department or body. These entities are now included in the government’s definition and require Cabinet approval before engaging in any MOU, agreement, or protocol with a foreign country.

Moreover, if a government department or entity wishes to enter into an agreement with a private entity from a foreign country, the parent Ministry of that entity is responsible for decision-making, provided its statute or rules authorize such actions. The Minister-In-Charge of the concerned Division has the authority to bring significant MOUs or agreements for discussion in the Cabinet or seek the Prime Minister’s guidance as necessary.

For Public Sector Universities engaging in MOUs, foreign deals or agreements with foreign counterparts, consulting the Higher Education Commission (HEC) is now a mandatory step. After obtaining HEC’s concurrence, the university must inform its parent Ministry for endorsement.

The guidelines stress the importance of involving relevant stakeholders, such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Law & Justice Division, and Security Agencies, in consultations whenever required before signing any MOU or agreement. Ministries and Divisions are urged to ensure strict compliance with these guidelines, from the initial negotiations to the signing and ratification of international instruments. These measures aim to foster transparency and accountability in dealings with foreign entities, aligning with the government’s commitment to robust governance practices.

Also Read: CCP Greenlights Allowing Singapore Shipping Giant Merger


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here