آیا ارزش مشارکت عمومی ـ خصوصی برای پول است؟: روش های ارزیابی جایگزین و مقایسه دیدگاه های آکادمیک و تخصصی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|10866||2005||34 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Accounting Forum, Volume 29, Issue 4, December 2005, Pages 345–378
In an earlier article in this journal (Grimsey, D., & Lewis, M. K. (2002b). Accounting for Public Private Partnerships. Accounting Forum, 26(3), 245–270), we examined the intricacies of the accounting issues raised by Public Private Partnerships (PPPs). It was argued that the critical accounting question from the public sector's viewpoint is not one of whether the arrangement is on or off balance sheet, but whether it represents good value for money. However, determining value for money for a PPP is an area in which, despite strong criticisms by a number of academic writers of the methods used by practitioners to evaluate value for money, surprisingly little engagement has taken place between the practitioners and the academics on the issues involved. This paper attempts to provide such an engagement. At the same time, because many of the academic critiques focus on the situation in one country (particularly the UK or Australia), we try to put matters into a broader, comparative context by considering approaches to value for money tests in a number of countries. Our examination is thus comparative in the sense of considering value for money tests in different countries, while also comparing the views of academics and practitioners.
Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) are a refinement of the private financing initiatives for infrastructure that started in the early 1990s and describe the provision of public assets and services through the participation of the government, the private sector and the consumers. There is no single definition of a PPP. Depending on the country concerned, the term can cover a variety of transactions where the private sector is given the right to operate, for an extended period, a service traditionally the responsibility of the public sector alone, ranging from relatively short term management contracts (with little or no capital expenditure), through concession contracts (which may encompass the design and build of substantial capital assets along with the provision of a range of services and the financing of the entire construction and operation), to joint ventures where there is a sharing of ownership between the public and private sectors. Generally speaking, PPPs fill a space between traditionally procured government projects and full privatisation. Although many commentators consider PPPs to be a new version of privatisation (Minow, 2003), in our view PPPs are not privatisation because with privatisation the government no longer has a direct role in ongoing operations, whereas with a PPP the government retains ultimate responsibility.2 Nor do PPPs involve simply the one-off engagement of a private contractor to provide goods or services under a normal commercial arrangement. Instead, the emphasis is on long-term contracts and strict performance regimes, such as build-operate-transfer (BOT) or design-build-finance-operate (DBFO) projects to design, construct, finance, manage and operate infrastructure under a concession, with revenues (either from government or users) according to services supplied. The private sector partner is paid for the delivery of the services to specified levels and must provide all the managerial, financial and technical resources needed to achieve the required standards. Importantly, the private sector must also bear the risks of achieving the service specification. There are various reasons as to why governments might undertake PPPs, although paramount is the objective of achieving improved value for money (VFM), or improved services for the same amount of money, as the public sector would spend to deliver a similar project. There is a long history of publicly procured contracts being delayed and turning out to be more expensive than budgeted. Transferring these risks to the private sector under a PPP structure and having it bear the cost of design and construction over-runs is one way in which a PPP can potentially add value for money in a public project. However, construction risk is not the only aspect of public procurement that needs to be addressed. There are also risks attached to site use, building standards, operations, revenue, financial conditions, service performance, obsolescence and residual asset value, amongst others, to be taken into account when evaluating whether the PPP route to public procurement constitutes good value for money. In fact, based on experience with Private Finance Initiative (PFI)3 projects in the UK, there is an acceptance amongst public service project managers that there are six main determinants of value for money (Arthur Andersen, 2000), namely: risk transfer; the long-term nature of contracts (including whole-of-life cycle costing); the use of an output specification; competition; performance measurement and incentives; private sector management skills. Of these, competition and risk are seen to be the most important. It follows that what would seem to be required to achieve value for money, defined as ‘the optimum combination of whole life cost and quality (or fitness for purpose) to meet the user's requirement’,4 is that • projects be awarded in a competitive environment; • economic appraisal techniques, including proper appreciation of risk, be rigorously applied, and that risk is allocated between the public and private sectors so that the expected value for money is maximized; • comparisons between publicly and privately financed options be fair, realistic and comprehensive. These considerations are normally examined on a case-by-case basis (although one study does focus on the overall rates of return across a large number of PFI projects),5 on the grounds that risk allocation depends on each project's risk profile, while the competitiveness of the market for bids will vary from project to project and from one time to another. However, while competition and risk allocation are the important pre-conditions, with value for money enhanced by transferring an appropriate degree of risk to the private entity, they do not guarantee value for money. Rather, the possibility of achieving extra value for money by implementing a PPP can be estimated (under the approach in the UK and some other countries) with a two-fold analysis conducted prior to the PPP implementation. It comprises, first, the calculation of the benchmark cost of providing the specified service under traditional procurement and, second, a comparison of this benchmark cost with the cost of providing the specified service under a PPP scheme. This benchmark is known as the public sector comparator (PSC).
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This paper has had two aims. At one level it has endeavoured to provide an overview, based on over twenty countries, of value for money assessment in Public Private Partnerships focusing in particular on the role played by the Public Sector Comparator. PPPs are well-established practice in the UK, Australia, The Netherlands, South Africa, Canada and Japan, and in all these countries PSCs are regarded as valuable for assessing value for money in procurement and evaluating and quantifying risk. However, the use of a PSC is not universal and elsewhere, where PPPs are employed, our survey reveals that other methods are employed. Overall, we find that there are four alternative approaches to evaluating value for money, although a number of countries that have used cost-benefit analysis or other techniques are now investigating the use of PSCs for ascertaining whether PPPs constitute good value for money. At a second level, the paper has sought to engage some of the academics voicing concerns about PPPs, examining some of the similarities and differences between their views and those of practitioners active in the market. Amongst some academics, the value for money tests involving PPP–PSC comparisons are criticized for the seeming arbitrariness of the assumptions underlying the PSC, especially with respect to risk transfer and the discount rate (where small changes can have a big impact on project choice), as well as for downplaying uncertainty and over-emphasizing financial factors relative to issues of long-term service delivery. Some of these matters (e.g., the assumptions underlining the PSC and risk transfer) have been considered by practitioners, who use statistical techniques such as sensitivity analysis and Monte Carlo methods to examine the robustness of the estimates. Other matters raised (e.g., the treatment of risk and the discount rate methodology) have, to a considerable degree, been overtaken by developments in policy analysis in both the UK and Australia, although aspects of the application of the new methodology remained unresolved. Uncertainty and the need to manage long-term service delivery are issues that remain on the policy agenda, although practitioner views on these matters have taken some different directions to the academic literature. Rather than go over some of the same ground, we would like to conclude with some general points. First, our survey shows not only that there are alternatives to the PSC approach but that there are many complexities and ambiguities involved in it which suggest that the calculation of the PSC needs to be seen merely as one factor, albeit significant, in procurement decisions. Its development constitutes a valuable discipline upon public sector procurement in assisting decision-makers to understand the project, the risks involved and how to deal with them contractually. In this respect, the risk analysis required for the PSC can be seen as part of the broader process of risk identification, allocation and management within the project. In many cases, the difference between the PSC and the private sector proposal will be relatively narrow and the procurer has to make professional judgements as to the value for money to be derived from contracting with the private sector and the risks which that route involves, while not ignoring that there are also large risks in the public procurement route, as indicated by the ‘optimism bias’ documented earlier. Second, the value for money test frequently comes down to a simple, single point comparison between two procurement options. In our view, the problem is that value for money is more often than not poorly understood and often equated with lowest cost. Such an approach fundamentally understates value in the context of achieving a project's objectives and protecting the government from adverse outcomes. Value is a complex trade off between cost, risk and performance, and in this framework it is important fully to understand the government's exposure to risk, defined as volatility of outcomes. Probability analysis overcomes the limitations of the simple point estimate value for money approach by specifying a probability distribution for each risk, and then considering the effects of the risks in combination. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that uncertainty is not the same as risk, and that consideration needs to be given to the unexpected as well as to measurable risks. Also, value for money as measured by financial comparisons should be augmented by a consideration of the policy and strategy context and the wider socio-economic costs and benefits, and we have no quarrel with the academic critics on that general point. This is one advantage of the approach where there is a full cost-benefit economic analysis of the feasible public sector option and the PPP route to procurement, but this alternative does come at a considerable cost in terms of a commitment of time and resources that the more practically oriented PSC approach to some degree obviates. Third, PPPs are not, and probably never will be, the dominant method of infrastructure acquisition. They are too complex, and costly, for many small projects. In some cases, they may be beyond the capacity of the public sector agency to implement and manage. For other projects the tight specification of the outputs required may be difficult to detail for an extended period. In other cases, a sound business rationale may not exist. Nonetheless, for those projects that are suitable, they are a way of introducing very different incentives into the procurement process. These incentives, we argue, are distinctive to PPPs relative to other procurement approaches and come about as a result of the fusion of the upfront engineering of the design and the finance with the downstream management of construction and service delivery. Private risk finance using a mix of equity and debt is central to this process, and provides the ‘glue’ that holds together the transaction and the risk allocation amongst the various parties. Moreover, there is evidence that the private sector does respond to these signals and gets it right more often than not. About 75 percent of major infrastructure projects in the UK were late and over budget before PPPs came into play. Under PPP/PFI arrangements, 75 percent of projects are on time and to budget.