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Don’t abandon public/private partnerships: CEO

December 15, 2014  By Consulting Engineers of Ontario

Dec. 15, 2014 – Ontario Auditor General, Bonnie Lysyk, late Wednesday December 9th, released her 2014 Annual Report.  Figuring prominently in the report is the assessment that Ontario is paying significantly more for its public infrastructure using public-private- partnerships (Alternative Financing and Procurement) than it would if it were to contract out the work and manage the projects itself.

“It is important to recognize that the AFP model of procurement has played a significant role in theconstruction of a substantial amount of public infrastructure over the past eight years,” said BarrySteinberg, Chief Executive Officer of Consulting Engineers of Ontario (CEO).  “The Provincial Auditor’s report has fueled some strong reactions, but we must not lose sight of the fact that public-private-partnerships have been critical to the delivery of a number of large, complex and vital projects that might not ever have been built were it not for the AFP process,” Steinberg said.
Questioning the actual overall value for money realized and citing a lack of empirical data upon which the decisions to use AFP are based, the report prompted the AG to recommend the province re-examine its decision-making criteria for using the AFP model.  “CEO’s members appreciate that AFP is not apanacea, and see the AG’s report as a catalyst to improving the quality of AFP procurement documentsand evaluation. CEO looks forward to being part of that process,” stated Steinberg.  “The issues involved in AFP are multi-facetted and they affect the people of Ontario and public safety.  We have to approach them with a spirit of continuous improvement to achieve the desired results.”

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