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Tuesday 19/06/2018
Written by: Shruti Deshpande

PPPs need to be reviewed before funding them

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The European Network on Debt and Development, an NGO operating in the Public Private Partnerships sector, has called upon The World Bank Group (WBG) to stop funding and promoting PPPs, until they are thoroughly reviewed and confirm their effectiveness.

There has been sufficient evidence to highlight the concern over the failure of public service projects using PPPs. Over 80 signatories from across three continents have addressed an open letter to WBG highlighting the growing concerns over negative experience of PPPs. European auditors have said that EU public private partnerships are not economically viable and only have limited benefits, resulting in billions of euros being inefficiently spent.

The European Court of Auditor’s (ECA) reported that both value for money and transparency in the PPPs were “widely undermined” by unclear policy and strategy, inadequate analysis, off-balance sheet recording of PPPs and unbalanced risk-sharing arrangements. In 2017 more than 150 organisations signed up to Eurodad’s PPP Global campaign manifesto and Eurodad’s letter pointed in a UK National Audit Office report that, 'in some cases PPP projects costed 40% higher than those financed by government borrowing’. By contrast in his article Public-private partnerships offer transformative positive change, Laurence Carter, Senior WBG Director, states: PPPs are fully committed to helping countries achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The scale and ambition of these goals require new solutions, greater collaboration, and a global partnership that includes public authorities, civil society, communities, and the private sector.

PPP procurement needs to be well-prepared and well-executed. It is important that the public and private sectors align for successful PPPs.  “The openness, transparency and good governance needs to sit at the heart of public private partnerships” suggests Andrew Burn, a PPP professional who has 20 years of PPPs expertise. To help get a common minimum level of knowledge and understanding amongst individuals working on PPPs, APMG International launched the APMG’s Public Private Partnership Certification Program in 2016. This Certification Program is an innovation of ADB, EBRD, IDB, IsDB, the MIF and WBG, and is part funded by the PPIAF.

The PPP Guide which is a fundamental Body of Knowledge for this certification and contains chapters that form part of the process to attaining the CP3P credential that certifies professional’s knowledge in the field of PPPs. The PPP Certification Guide was compiled by a team of internationally experienced PPP practitioners and has now been downloaded by over 80,000 interested parties. The certification scheme is designed to foster and maintain training infrastructure which will enable candidates to obtain quality training to achieve the certification. To date over 1400 people have passed the exams since its release.

Establishing a critical mass of well informed and qualified individuals will help to enhance the capacity for delivering well prepared and well executed PPPs for those infrastructure projects, particularly in the Global South countries of Latin America, Asia and Africa, referred to in the NGO’s Global Campaign Manifesto.

Find out more about APMG’s PPP Certification program

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