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Additional Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) are set to take off following ‘teething’ problems. Back  
‘There has been a renewed impetus to the Irish Public Private Partnership (PPP) market over the last six months, following a number of teething troubles with pilot PPP projects,’ Shane Lyons, a director at Price WaterhouseCoopers and member of the IBEC PPP Council, told attendees at a function held at the British Embassy in conjunction with the International Project Finance Association (of London) on December 7th.
He said that there has been a really constructive dialogue between the IBEC PPP Council and government officials to address the difficulties that have arisen in the past, which has resulted in renewed political support at the highest level, an enhanced role for the National Development Finance Agency (NDFA) in PPP procurement, and a new wave of PPP projects across a range of sectors.

Lyons said that the PPP approach has already played a major role in improving infrastructure delivery, as it has highlighted weaknesses in the traditional procurement system in areas such as approvals processes, budgeting and statutory processes. ‘This has resulted in the introduction of a new mindset and discipline to infrastructure delivery in the areas of need assessment, risk analysis, fixed priced contracts and value for money analysis,’ he said, adding that ‘there is still further work to be done in this area’.

He said that the IBEC PPP Council is convinced that PPPs do work as a procurement approach and there is ample evidence to support this, such as the Dundalk Western Bypass, which was delivered to a fixed price and five months early, and the €0.5 billion Kilcock to Kinnegad N4 project, which was delivered on budget and ten months early.

Other speakers at the event included Anne Counihan, CEO of NDFA, which is the statutory financial advisor of all public projects over €20 million, and Stephanie O’Donnell, head of the PPP unit at the Department of Finance, which is responsible for the development of general policy guidelines on the PPP process and for other measures to help facilitate PPP deals in Ireland.

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