The Public Private Partnership (PPP) Unit was established to centralize Public Private Partnership expertise for the Assembly and to adequately support Tobago’s development. The Unit will drive innovative socio-economic transformation through strategic Public Private Partnerships to enhance Tobago’s infrastructure.
The activities undertaken by the Unit will be grounded in good governance, anchored by the principles of integrity, transparency and accountability and with excellence adhering to efficient, effective and reliable service through its projects. The PPP Unit will ensure a commitment to Tobago’s holistic development to ensure the welfare of the island’s citizens.
What are PPPs?
Public Private Partnerships (PPPs)represent an approach to procuring infrastructure services distinct from traditional public procurement. It moves beyond the client-contract or relationship where the Government hires private companies to supply assets or services, to a partnership between public and private sectors to achieve a solution or to deliver an infrastructure service over the long term through efficient risk transfer and a view to whole-life costing (i.e. cost savings)and ultimately value for money. It combines the strength of the public sector’s mandate to deliver services and its role as regulator and coordinator of public functions with the private sector’s focus on profitability and therefore commercial efficiency.
A Case for Tobago
The Tobago House of Assembly (THA) has formally adopted the use of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) as a mechanism for accelerating the public sector investment programme in Tobago. As such, the THA has established a PPP Unit within the Division of Finance and Enterprise Development (DFED) to serve as a focal point.
The objectives of this Unit are todevelop a policy and a programme that will build capacity within the publicsector to identify, evaluate, plan and implement PPP projects that will expandthe stock of economic and social infrastructure in Tobago and promote development
While the adoption of this modality offers an opportunity to transfer or better allocate fiscal risks of the investment programme, there are several additional advantages; the approach presents:
- a strategy through which private sector technology and innovation can be introduced to improve operational efficiency in the delivery of public services;
- a means of incentivising the delivery of projects on time and within budget leading to cost savings over the life of the project/asset;
- a way to impose budgetary certainty by fixing both current and future costs of infrastructure projects over time;
- the development of local private sector capabilities through joint ventures with larger regional or international firms, as well as sub-contracting opportunities across the design – operations spectrum (civil works, facilities management, I.T. & security services etc.);
- providing a method of gradually exposing the Assembly’s state enterprises to increasing levels of private participation, and structuring PPPs in a manner which ensures skills transfer to local champions that can run their own operations professionally and eventually export these competencies by bidding for national and regional projects themselves;
- opportunity diversification of the economy by improving its competitiveness in terms of a facilitative infrastructure base, as well as boosting the infrastructuredevelopment sector (construction, equipment, and their ancillary services);
- the creation of a policy through which long-term Value for Money could be extracted through the appropriate risk sharing with the private sector over the life of the project;
- andthe means through which limited public sector capacity could be supplemented to meet the growing demand for infrastructure development.
The Public Private Partnership modality is a viable option for the execution of several development priorities. Moreover, PPPs are not limited to traditional physical infrastructure sectors such as transport, tourism, government accommodation, water and sanitation, energy and ICT, but can also bridge the financing gap in the social sector to include education and healthcare. This modality is not a panacea, however the adoption of PPPs invariably leads to elements of performance based contracting and servicing finding their way into more traditional procurement operations.
The public private partnership modality is a viable option for the execution of several development priorities. Moreover, PPPs are not limited to traditional physical infrastructure sectors such as transport, tourism, government accommodation, water and sanitation, energy and ICT, but can also bridge the financing gap in the social sector to include education and healthcare. This modality is not a panacea, however the adoption of PPPs invariably leads to elements of performance based contracting and servicing finding their way into more traditional procurement operations.
Ultimately the PPP Unit will develop capacity, improve viability, and enhance opportunity across the physical and social infrastructure sectors, and deliver long term value for money and quality public services that will significantly impact on the growth and expansion of the Tobago economy.
Ms Giselle Small, Technical Advisor
Tel: 639-4412 Ext. 4410