Ontario Auditor General: $614-million Brampton Civic P3 cost $394-million too much
There is no doubt P3s can be done better. But no one is asking whether they should be done at all.
February 5, 2009 — To P3 or not P3, that is the question.
Public-private partnerships (P3s) are an increasingly popular method for financing the construction of public works projects, from sewage systems through to hospitals.
But a recent report by the Auditor General of Ontario should give pause.
Auditor General Jim McCarter examined in detail the deal that saw a private consortium build Brampton Civic Hospital and lease it back to the province.
Using the ever-cautious words of an accountant, his bottom line was: "Our work indicated that the all-in cost could well have been lower if the government had built the hospital itself."
Put more bluntly: Taxpayers got screwed.
On paper, P3s look good. The idea is that private business will use its acumen and access to capital to build facilities quickly and cost-effectively. Cash-strapped governments, for their part, are able to invest in much-needed infrastructure now while repaying investors over the long term - as individuals do with a mortgage.
In theory, this allows both public and private partners to focus on what they do best.
But let's take a look at what happened in practice at Brampton Civic Hospital. . .
To read further. . .
Links and sources
In this PPP, taxpayers are the ones who paid, by Andre Picard, The Globe and Mail, February 5 2009
Posted: February 05, 2009
Voices of privatization
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