Infrastructure Working Group sets objectives

An Infrastructure Working Group formed earlier this year, has established its mandate and objectives as it relates to Public Private Partnerships.

At its meeting on August 13, Cabinet approved the appointment of an Infrastructure Working Group, to consider all major infrastructure projects, including those that may be good Public Private Partnership candidates. In arriving at its decision, the Ministry of Finance stated that Cabinet took into consideration, the lack of public funding for major infrastructure projects, the need to increase infrastructure stock, as a means to expand the economy, by attracting direct foreign investment.

To facilitate the process, the Government intends to develop a National Public Partnership Policy for any project with a capital cost in excess of an amount to be determined by the policy; using defined criteria and taking into consideration prudent debt/liability targets within the context of the borrowing guidelines established by the UK Government for the time being; and in line with the provisions of the Public Procurement Ordinance.

"We aim to have the Framework completed and approved by the House by the end of March 2014, and thereafter be able to place notices for Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for a number of projects simultaneously," the Ministry said in an October 11 statement.

The Infrastructure Working Group had its first meeting on September 23 and adopted the following mandate and objectives as it relates to Public Private Partnership.

  1. Develop a sound PPP framework. - Policy, procedures, institutions, and rules that together define how PPPs will be implemented. The proposed PPP policy will define the extent, objectives, and guiding principles of the government’s PPP program including the contractual attributes, size, and duration of PPP contracts.
  2. Construct a twenty-five year pipeline of major infrastructure projects generally, to include all public capital works over a specified amount; particularly those considered to be good candidates for PPP.
  3. Consider any new legislation which may be necessary for the implementation of the PPP framework.

The main objectives of the National Public Private Sector Policy Partnership are:

I. The identification of major public infrastructure project across the Turks and Caicos Islands

II. To increase the financing available for infrastructure by making use of private sector investment resources

III. To improve value for money in infrastructure projects by creating incentives for best- practice design, timely completion, and efficient operation by sharing project risk with the private sector

IV. To encourage innovation in the provision of infrastructure

V. To improve the sustainability of infrastructure and infrastructure services VI. To improve accountability in public expenditure

Program of Work

A program of work is being established so as to facilitate an initial report to Cabinet by the end of November. The working group is made up of a broad cross-section of the islands communities, professional disciplines, and political persuasions. The working group will undertake public consultation to receive the views of the public. The PPP framework, together with the infrastructure pipeline will be presented by way of resolution to the House of Assembly with the intention of achieving bipartisan support. It will then become an item to be included in the national Agenda, and a blueprint for infrastructure development regardless to which party is in Government.