Wednesday, December 9 – Government is now in a better position to explore the full potential of Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) as a result of representation at the Caribbean Public-Private Partnership Training in Barbados.
Mr. Vincent Wheatley, Sister Islands Coordinator and Projects Officer in the Deputy Governor’s Office, recently attended the December 1-4 training session.
Mr. Wheatley told the Department of Information and Public Relations that the workshop was interesting and timely given the current economic climate. “The principles of PPP, when properly applied, give government tremendous leverage in undertaking many infrastructural projects simultaneously and even bring on board other projects that would otherwise be impossible. It is well known that infrastructure drives development.”
He further shared, “PPP is by no means a panacea but provides government with an alternative way of doing business and achieving its objectives; an extra tool in the tool kit. Currently, infrastructural projects are funded either by user fees or from the fiscal budget. I do not think the current way of doing business is sustainable over the long run or can bring about the much needed development of the Territory.”
He added, “PPPs have been tried and tested the world over in good times as well as bad times. We do not have to reinvent the wheel, there are tremendous resources available and we can learn from the many success and failures of PPPs. It is my hope that government will embrace this idea and pursue it further for the development of the Virgin Islands and the prosperity of its people.”
The four-day session focused on the introduction of the PPP and its fundamentals including relationship to government policies and legislation; identification of key government objectives behind PPPs and the rationale for PPPs and specifics of island economies in times of financial crises among other topics.
The meeting was organised by the Caribbean Development Bank, International Finance Corporation and World Bank Institute and financed by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
PPP is a partnership between government and a private entity specifically designed for the delivery of a public service. The private entity assumes some of the risks and responsibilities normally associated with government thus providing government the opportunity to focus on governing and the delivery of services.