Thursday, 19 November 2009

More Proof That PPPs Are Bad for Health--and Many Other Things

Public private partnerships (PPPs) to build mega hospitals were foisted on Quebec by politicians and bureaucrats who made biased calculations, the province's auditor general says.

In his report, released yesterday, Renaud Lachance reports that planning and building the two super hospitals (one based on the Université de Montréal medical school and the other, on McGill's) would have been cheaper using methods used to construct major projects in the past. The arguments for PPPs were deeply flawed and PPPs have cost far more than conventional project management, planning and financing would have.

Lachance also revealed several instances of collusion and lack of oversight in the awarding of contracts for highway construction and repairs. His careful study adds ammunition to growing criticism of how the current Liberal government has run things in recent years. And the way he demolishes the arguments for PPPs should lay to rest any idea that using the partnerships profits anybody but the people hired to consult, design and build the projects.

His report comes too late to do much about the hospital projects, but it should be read with care by anybody who wonders about how to manage a society. Never forget that private companies are ALWAYS in business to make a profit, and far too often profit comes not from efficiency but from getting all that be gotten from the public purse.

No comments: