16 Public Private Funding Partnerships
One of the most significant developments in the public sector in recent years has been the growth of Public Private Partnership funding initiatives. Whilst these have been generally perceived as positive to date, there have been challenges with some projects. As might be anticipated a consistent factor where projects have gone well is when careful planning and analysis has been performed and sound procedures followed.
Where proper planning analysis and effective definitions, specifications and accurate costs are well understood and documented at a very early point, then the project has had a much higher likelihood of achieving a successful outcome. To facilitate this the Scottish Executive has established a special unit, the Financial Partnerships Unit ( FPU). Staffed by a team of professionals it provides experienced support to projects from the very earliest stage including the essential financial decision analysis and business case work. Its services are available across the public sector to support individual projects.
Whilst the Unit is well positioned and perceived as effective, it is not always utilised as a matter of course by public sector organisations embarking on capital projects where private funding should be considered.
Engagement with, and guidance from, the FPU should be a mandatory requirement for all public sector capital projects that are potential candidates for public/private funding.