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News (187)

Accountability railroaded by Ottawa privatization scheme

Two Ottawa ‘public-private partnership’ projects have been approved by councilors without them being able to see the details. The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) reports that “the need for public services to be accountable to the public took a back seat to ‘commercial confidentiality’ when Ottawa city council approved 2 P3 privatization schemes to extend rail lines. Even though there are significant problems with a P3 privatization scheme for the city’s first light rail line, city councillors were told they didn’t even need to know if bidders met technical requirements. The 2 P3 privatization schemes will cost at least $4.7 billion, and councillors have had very little time to delay the project. Councillors with unanswered questions were told that even delaying the decision by 2 weeks wasn’t possible.” Meanwhile, SNC-Lavalin, which is implicated in the national political controversy threatening to bring down Prime Minister Trudeau, has just been awarded another P3 contract.

Source: nupge.ca

Can public-private partnerships deliver gender equality?

On the eve of International Women's Day, a new report “Can Public-private Partnerships deliver gender equality?” was released by a European Network on Debt and Development (EURODAD). The report says: "PPPs are being actively promoted by donor governments and international financial institutions to fund social services and infrastructure projects around the world. However, support for PPPs runs counter to governments’ commitments to promote gender equality and the fullfilment of women’s rights under Agenda 2030 and elsewhere ". This report aims to contribute to the growing civil society debate about PPPs and describes how they could create additional fiscal constraints that undermine the state’s capacity to deliver gender-transformative public services and infrastructure, or to promote decent work for women.

Source: eurodad.org

The government has marked out 49 state-owned enterprises for privatisation

The government has marked out 49 state-owned enterprises for privatisation. Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) are on the list. “Pakistan is in discussion with half a dozen companies from Russia and China to run the Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) under public-private partnership and increase its capacity from 1.1 million to 3.5 million per year.”

Source: www.thenews.com.pk

Possible corruption and/or blackmail in a ‘public-private partnership’ to design airports?

An interesting story is emerging about possible corruption and/or blackmail in a ‘public-private partnership’ to design airports in Libya. “The group is faced with a dilemma: stop spending or continue the activity. Upon reflection, Group ADP finally refused to ‘cut the bad arm,’ according to a former senior official. ‘For strategic reasons, we could not get rid of ADP IngénierieI, which is the symbol of our development and our achievements internationally.”

Source: Le Point

Coalition calls on government to pause on privatisation of public schools

The Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition, made up of over 210 civil society organisations, is calling on the government to pause the privatisation of public schools. Mr. Kofi Asare, Chairman of the Coalition, “said the coalition was aware of similar projects carried out in other African countries such as Liberia, Uganda and Kenya, where the partnership between government and the private sector did not yield the required results. Rather, whatever gains were made were marginal in comparison to the investments made by their governments, which were much higher than what was going to the regular public schools. Government cannot afford to ignore this evidence and go ahead to invest in such a venture, he stressed.”

Source: www.ghananewsagency.org

‘Public-private partnership’ is raising concern among carriers, users and the consumers

A 30-year concession let out to Chinese interests for a main commercial road from Pointe-Noire is raising concern among carriers, users and the Consumers ' Association that the ‘public-private partnership’ concession “will quickly bring about an increase in transport prices and hence that of essential products.” Management “is ceded to a private consortium which must maintain and make profitable this route built by billions of FCFA thanks to Chinese pre-financing.” The Congolese Association of consumer rights “is convinced that the tariffs for the crossing of toll stations are already being revised upward for motorists. These rates range from 1500 F for sedans to 40,000 F for heavy goods vehicles. It's huge and it's going to weigh heavily on the housewife's basket,” they say.

Source: RFI Afrique

Saudi Arabia’s water sector seeks private partners

Riyadh is turning to the private sector to meet the growing demand for wastewater and potable water infrastructure. “Already in the early part of 2019 contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars have been awarded for Saudi Arabia’s first public-private partnership (PPP) water and wastewater schemes, and more awards and tenders are expected before the end of the year. (…) The kingdom’s Water & Electricity Company (WEC), an entity fully owned by the Ministry of Finance and charged with overseeing the development of PPP desalination and wastewater projects, has awarded several contracts for the kingdoms first independent water project (IWP) and independent sewage treatment project (ISTP) since the end of 2018.”

Source: Water Technology

The partial privatization of the commonwealth’s police and security training system has begun

The partial privatization of the commonwealth’s police and security training system has begun. Late last month, the government published the request for qualifications (RFQ) for entities interested in operating the public-private partnership (PPP) that will administer the projected “Center for Training and Development of Public Security,” an institution that will include the Police Academy. The RFQ says the privatization contract will last 30 years and allow the operator to use the facilities of the Police Academy in Gurabo, as well as the four shooting ranges and the training areas of the other participating agencies.

Source: El Nuevo Dia

The question of privatizing state-owned refineries is a central dividing line in the elections 2019

The Financial Times reports that the question of privatizing state-owned refineries was a central dividing line in the 16 February election of the President, Vice President and National Assembly. The incumbent, President Muhammadu Buhari’s “focus is state-led growth and his plan is to form public-private partnerships to revive the refineries.” Atiku Abubakar, his main rival, “plans to sell off the refineries. The 72-year-old made his fortune in the oil and gas business before leading the country’s patchy privatisation drive as vice-president in the 2000s.”

Source: peopleoverprof.it

Privatization scheme bribery case ends with guilty plea on least serious charge

A series of criminal trials over a bribery scandal over a P3 privatization scheme ended last week with people admitting that $22.5 million in bribes were paid, but with no one being convicted of actually paying them. For those naïve enough to believe that the justice system does a good job of policing the privatization industry, it was a very bad week.

Source: PSI

LDF joins protest against airport privatization

In Kerala, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) has launched “an indefinite protest against the move to privatize the Trivandrum International Airport” on “the closing day of the submission of bids to select private players for the operations, management and development of the airport. Trivandrum international airport is among the six airports, proposed to be given on lease by the central government on private-public partnership model (PPP) model. The protest conducted at the domestic terminal of the airport was inaugurated by LDF state convener A Vijayaraghavan.”The central government, “having failed repeatedly to partially privatise the Ahmedabad and Jaipur airports, with sweetening of conditions proving inadequate for investment,” has “changed tack and opted for the public private partnership (PPP) model to redevelop the Ahmedabad, Jaipur and four other airports.” Brookfield and Macquarie are among the global investors eyeing Indian airports.

Source: The Times of India

A new PPP Promotion Act

A new PPP Promotion Act has been passed by National Legislative Assembly and is awaiting royal approval before being published in the Royal Gazette. “The law will require chairmen of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Thai Industries and the Thai Bankers' Association to be additional members of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) committee to add a private sector angle in joint investment projects. Moreover, experts related to joint venture projects will be a part of the selection committee.”

Source: www.bangkokpost.com