Improving Client Internal Capability to Monitor Public-Private Partnerships Projects: A Review
Abdullahi Ahmed Umar, Arazi Idrus, Noor Amila Wan Abdullah Zawawi and Mohd Faris Khamidi
DOI : 10.3844/ajeassp.2012.301.309
American Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Volume 5, Issue 4
Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) or Private Finance Initiatives (PFI) are increasingly becoming very popular with governments across the globe for the provision of public infrastructure and services. When contracted, the public sector client believing the private sector will act in accordance with ‘bounded rationality’, ignores the constant monitoring and review process which is an integral part of any project. However, the failures of some of these partnerships and the social and economic costs incurred due to laxity in monitoring reminds us of the need to develop the permanent bureaucratic machinery of government, who share the government’s unique objectives of end-users satisfaction rather than shareholders’, to perform the monitoring of these projects. Though the public sector has been delivering projcets for dacades, the complexities associated with the PFI strategy has opened up new challenges for its staff. Most failures and moral harzards are only discovered after scandals evoke investigations like the case of Enron or when public criticisms force the government to reverse their decision as in the case of the Skye toll bridge by which time a lot of damage would have be done. Literature has shown that when employees are trained and engaged in organisational decisions and policy planning they make policy executions easier. Therefore, considering the Theoretical ideology behind the PFI of the asset being returned to the Public sector at the end of the concession, it becomes pertinent for proper training of the public sector staff. Public sector officials, if adequately trained and motivated can perform the tasks being contracted out to private consultants thereby re-affirming government’s commitment to its Value for Money (VFM) proposition. Though the public sector staff strength has been depleted due to the adoption of New Public Management (NPM), however the remaining qualified staff can be pooled to create an ‘incubator’ from which a formidable monitoring team would evolve through the use of project management ‘Team concept’.
© 2012 Abdullahi Ahmed Umar, Arazi Idrus, Noor Amila Wan Abdullah Zawawi and Mohd Faris Khamidi. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.