"Taking Stock of Public Private Partnerships and Concessions in Europe: Are they value for money?"

Date

08 Feb 2012

Sections

Euro & Finance

"Taking Stock of Public Private Partnerships and Concessions in Europe: Are they value for money?" 

on  Wednesday 7 March 2012 , from 12.30 to 2.00pm, 14 rue de la Science, in Brussels

Outline

In the midst of the most significant financial crisis in decades, and in the context of severe budgetary constraints across Europe, member states are seeking new forms of financing to support sustainable public services. New ways of collaboration between public bodies, such as local authorities or central government, and private companies - known as Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) and Private Finance Initiatives (PFIs) - are at the heart of governments' attempts to revive their public services and are widely adopted by countries across Europe to finance new infrastructure projects.

As indicated in its 2009 communication on Mobilising private and public investment for recovery and long term structural change: developing public private partnerships, the European Commission believes that an adequate legal framework for PPPs and the award of concession contracts would favour public and private investment in infrastructure and strategic services at best value for money. In the light of this, the EU executive has recently launched a package on public procurements including namely a new proposal for the directive on concessions.

Yet in some cases PFIs and PPPs remain controversial with numerous questions being raised. Their advocates argue that they are a fast and efficient way to offer public services and finance innovation due to the know-how of private finance, management skills and financial acumen of the business community. Question marks linked to high financing costs, limits on how far taxes can be raised, or whether they represent value for money are common. Some commentators are also particularly concerned about the extension of the private sector into areas such as schools and hospitals which have traditionally been publicly run.

ACCA (The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) therefore commissioned a research report called “Taking Stock of PPP and PFI Around the World” conducted by the Manchester Business School that examines ten country case studies, including France and the UK, and outlines their experience of PPPs and PFIs. It provides an up-to-date view of developments in Europe and contrasts these with the diffusion, evolution and translation into practice with Asian countries. Its findings and conclusions are controversial on issues such as whether PFIs and PPPs deliver value for money and the accounting treatment on PFIs and PPPs promotion. The report also touches on lessons learned by governments from entering into PFIs and PPPs arrangements.

As European member states are looking for new ways to finance infrastructure projects and inject new growth, ACCA is pleased to invite you to a lunch debate aiming to provide an update on the state of play of PPPs and PFIs in Europe and to share best practices. Open discussions will be based on the findings of the report ‘Taking Stock of PPPs and PFIs Around the World’ and the current EU initiatives on Concessions and Public Procurements.

Please confirm your participation by the 29th February replying to cecile.bonino@accaglobal.com

Draft agenda

12.00-12.30pm Registration and lunch

12.30pm Welcome by the Chair, Gillian Fawcett, head of Public Sector at ACCA

12.35pm Presentation of the key findings of the report “Taking Stock of PPP and PFI Around the World” by Professor Graham Winch, Manchester Business School, and Elisabeth Campagnac, Directrice de recherche LATTS (Labroratoire Techniques, Territoires et Sociétés) from the Université Paris Est Ecole des Ponts Paris Tech 

12.50pm Roundtable moderated by Gillian Fawcett, head of Public Sector at ACCA

- Lukasz Rozanski, public procurement unit, DG MARKT

- Heide Ruehle, MEP 

- Bernard Huvelin, Vice President of Vinci, member of the Economic and Social Committee

- Klaus Heeger, Secretary general of CESI, Confederation  Europeenne des  Syndicats  Independants 

13.30pm: Q&As

14.00pm: Conclusions

We look forward to welcoming you in the debate!

Cecile Bonino

Public Affairs and Media Relations Manager-EU ACCA

CBI business house

14 rue de la Science

BE-1040 Brussels

tel:+32 (0) 2 286 11 37

mob: +44 (0) 7809595008

http://www.accaglobal.com

Accountants for business – creating sustainable value www.accaglobal.com/accountants_business