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The Chamber submitted comments on the PPP Bill to the National Council. In summary the Chamber supports the purpose and objects of the Bill. However, the Chamber is of the view that some amendments are necessary to improve Disclosure and Accountability Requirements because Public Private Partnerships as a means of funding:
• Are expensive because private borrows at higher rates than Governments;
• Susceptible to Corruption, Poor planning and project selection;
• Contracts typically provides for Limited accountability;
• Often has mixed development outcomes
Since the intent is to regulate, the Chamber submitted that although the Bill provides for principles of probity and transparency, are not sufficient to ensure fairness and concrete disclosure requirements are necessary. Minimum disclosure requirements should be adopted, for instance, provision should be made to explicitly recognize the risk of hidden contingent liabilities to enable debt sustainability analysis, rather than being off balance sheet; and in this regard, the law should provide for proactive disclosure of documents and information related to public contracting in a manner that enables meaningful understanding, effective monitoring, efficient performance, and accountability of outcomes. According to the Open Contracting Global Principles, this would require proactive disclosure of:
I. Contracts, including licenses, concessions, permits, grants or any other document exchanging public goods, or resources and any amendments thereto;
II. Related pre-studies, bid documents, performance evaluations, guarantees, and auditing reports.
III. Information concerning contract formation, including the planning process of the procurement; the method of procurement or award and the justification thereof; the scope and specifications for each contract; the criteria for evaluation and selection; the bidders or participants in the process and any procedural exemptions for which they qualify; the results of the evaluation, and the identity of the contract recipient and any statements of beneficial ownership provided.
IV. Information related to performance and completion of public contracts, including status of implementation against milestones; dates and amounts of stage payments made or received and the source of those payments; service delivery and pricing; arrangements for ending contracts; final settlements and responsibilities; risk assessments, including environmental and social impact assessments; provisions in place to ensure appropriate management of ongoing risks and liabilities; and appropriate financial information regarding revenues and expenditures, such as time and cost overruns, if any.
V. For any major infrastructure projects, the law should provide for good and democratic governance through informed consultation and broad civil society participation and monitoring, including by local communities, trade unions and other stakeholders. Governments should also ensure the right to redress for any affected communities.
Click here for the submission