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Guidebook on Promoting Good Governance in Public-Private Partnerships

Verlag: United Nations Publications
Herausgeberin: United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
Seiten: 105

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In ihrem Referenzwerk zu Good Governance und Public-Private Partnership äussert sich die United Nations Economic Commission for Europe auf 88 Seiten zu den Themen Prozessgestaltung, capacity-building, Gesetzgebung, Risikomanagement, Transparenz sowie Umweltschutz. Das Dokument ist in englischer Sprache publiziert.

Foreword

Public-private partnerships (PPPs) in the delivery of public services have become a phenomenon which is spreading the globe and generating great interest. But why is a concept, barely mentioned a decade ago, now attracting such interest? Overall, the answer is that PPPs avoid the often negative effects of either exclusive public ownership and delivery of services, on the one hand, or outright privatization, on the other. In contrast, PPPs combine the best of both worlds: the private sector with its resources, management skills and technology; and the public sector with its regulatory actions and protection of the public interest. This balanced approach is especially welcome in the delivery of public services which touch on every human being’s basic needs.

There are lots of good reasons, therefore, why governments in the UNECE region and around the world favour PPPs and plenty of evidence that they work well. But they do present a severe organizational and institutional challenge for the public sector. They are complex in nature, requiring different types of skills and new enabling institutions and they lead to changes in the status of public sector jobs. To work well they require well-functioning institutions, transparent, efficient procedures and accountable and competent public and private sectors, i.e. ‘good governance’. To address the challenge, the UNECE has elaborated this Guidebook for policymakers, government officials and the private sector. We hope that all the parties to PPPs will benefit by examining closely the principles contained in the Guidebook and ensuring their implementation.

It is widely recognized within the UN system that there is a need to increase the capacity of governments at all levels to implement PPPs successfully. The Guidebook is a beginning. The UNECE will use it as a basis for the elaboration of training modules that will contribute further to the capacity-building task. We hope in this way that the Guidebook will be of practical help in realizing the UN goals in economic and social development.

Marek Belka
Executive Secretary
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Preface

The Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Alliance of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) was established in 2001 to improve the awareness, capacity and skills of the public sector in developing successful PPPs in Europe. To this end, the Alliance prepares guidelines on best practices in PPPs, as well as preparing other PPP-related educational and training materials, and sponsoring PPP conferences and workshops. At its last meeting, the PPP Alliance agreed, in light of the lack of information available on the topic, to prepare guidelines on the subject of good governance in PPPs.

Following UNECE reform, a new Committee on Economic Cooperation and Integration has been established to promote competitiveness. This Committee takes over the previous work of the former Alliance. The Guidelines were reviewed at an International Conference organized by UNECE and the Government of Israel with the participation of experts from different countries to provide their experience and best practice in creating good governance conditions for PPPs. A network of experts has also been established, incorporating the experts from the former Alliance group, to implement a work programme on PPPs. The Committee has requested the Secretariat to prepare a Guidebook on Promoting Good Governance in PPPs and to use this to undertake PPP capacity-building programmes especially in the transition economies.

Avant Propos

Over the past fifteen years governments have been struggling to achieve economic development and competitiveness through improving their basic infrastructure. Increasingly governments are turning to the private sector for the financing, design, construction and operation of infrastructure projects. Once rare and limited, these public-private partnerships (PPPs) have emerged as an important tool for improving economic competitiveness and infrastructure services. They are increasingly being considered as a mechanism to fill an infrastructure ‘deficit’ in many UNECE countries.

Challenges and Key Questions

One of the challenges all governments face in promoting PPPs is instigating the procedures and processes involved in delivering successful PPPs and establishing new institutions. Moreover, PPPs require a new type of public expertise that facilitates projects and monitors their performance. The key questions asked in the Guidebook are:

  • What does governance mean in PPPs?
  • How can governments improve their governance?
  • What technical, financial, legal, and other challenges must be overcome to build capacity?
  • How can PPPs improve efficiency and achieve social, economic and environmental objectives simultaneously?

Purpose of the Guidebook

The purpose of this Guidebook is twofold:

  1. To demonstrate how governments and the private sector can improve governance in PPPs; and
  2. To create a basis for the elaboration of training modules for PPPs.

This Guidebook is organized as follows:

The Introduction defines PPPs, the various models and the benefits. Highlighting the fact that PPPs are still in their infancy in most countries, it is argued that the lack of processes, procedures and enabling institutions, i.e. “governance”, is the main barrier to extending their use.

The next parts describe governance in specific areas, looking at the main challenge, the ways of addressing it and concluding with some specific action points and case studies (Part III).

Part II consists of 8 Chapters.

Chapter 1 stresses the importance of good governance in PPPs. It identifies some key principles and the main arenas where PPPs are found. The chapter discusses the primary governance objectives in PPPs, and the economic benefits. Noting that these objectives are not being promoted enough, it describes how the UNECE Guidebook on Promoting Good Governance in PPPs can be used to integrate the principles into PPP processes.

Chapter 2 explains the need for a PPP policy to set out a ‘roadmap’ that fixes clear objectives. It discusses the importance of reaching consensus, identifying the right PPP projects, setting realistic targets and establishing procedures for consulting key stakeholders.

Chapter 3 discusses how to build the capacity within governments to implement PPPs. It argues for a combined approach using at the same time external advisers and internally establishing enabling institutions and training. It recognises the need to build specific PPP skills and to establish national PPP units, where multilateral cooperation can help.

Chapter 4 argues that a clear framework of law and regulation is vital for PPPs and sets out the principles and priorities for the construction of this framework. What is required, it is argued, are fewer, better and simpler laws.

Chapter 5 elaborates on the importance of risk by showing how governments should manage risks. It discusses the need for governments to take on their own share of risk responding to private sector concerns over ‘red tape’ and changing agreements. However, it warns against the use of guarantees that nullify the influence of incentives in boosting private sectorperformance.

Chapter 6 demonstrates the importance of transparency, neutrality, and non-discrimination in procuring PPPs. The specific cases of the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States are provided as examples of these principles in action.

Chapter 7 shows why putting people first in PPPs can help meet the public interest objectives in PPPs. It discusses how this can be done.

Chapter 8 presents the Green Case for PPPs, arguing that greening and private finance in PPPs is not mutually exclusive. It shows how governments can give incentives in PPP contracts to deliver public services in a more environmentally sensitive way.

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