How transparent are Sask. gov’t P3 deals?

Written by admin on 26/04/2020 Categories: 老域名出售

REGINA – Whether it’s the nearly $1.88-billion price tag or squabbling over the location, there’s been plenty of debate over the Regina bypass project.

Now the attacks are flying over how much of the public-private partnership to build it, is paying someone to maintain the highway for 30 years.

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The government has said construction will cost $1.2 billion, but there’s no breakdown of another $680-million included in the cost to account for things such as maintenance, resurfacing and “risk-transfer” to the private consortium responsible for the project.

“Saskatchewan people deserve transparency.”

Gordon Wyant, the minister responsible for SaskBuilds, which oversees P3 projects, says that information is “commercially sensitive” and won’t be released.

“Saskatchewan people deserve transparency,” said deputy NDP leader Trent Wotherspoon. “They deserve to know their government is working in their interest and this government isn’t providing information or action that would demonstrate any of that.”

Unlike your grocery bill, there won’t be a line-by-line breakdown – only a lump-sum of more than $1 billion to account for a combination of the construction and operation/maintenance of the highway.

It’ll be compared to the cost of doing things the old-fashioned way.

“The public will have appreciation of value-for-money savings of pursuing this project traditionally versus a public-private partnership,” said Rupen Pandya, president and CEO of SaskBuilds.

Going grocery shopping

Think of it like shopping to host a barbecue. You pick up a few things at the meat counter, but most of your spending is on food from the rest of the store – and you pay just one bill.

When you’re asked how much you spent on the meat, your only answer is to look at the grand total.

“(The government is) paying for the end goal,” said Judy Ferguson, Saskatchewan’s provincial auditor. “They’re not telling you ‘how’ to get there, they’re just saying, ‘This is what we want, how much is it going to cost us?”

Saskatchewan’s provincial auditor, Judy Ferguson, has been critical of the government for not providing reports detailing whether or not taxpayers are getting a good deal, which the government has since committed to doing within 120 days of a contract being signed.

Kael Donnelly / Global News

Ferguson’s reports have said the government’s method for calculating risk in P3 contracts is actually sound – unlike her counterpart in Ontario, Bonnie Lysyk, who has said taxpayers in that province have lost millions of dollars in deals with the private sector.

“It’s the guys that didn’t do a good front-end job that were more apt to fall off the wagon later on,” Ferguson said.

She has been critical of the government for not providing reports detailing whether or not taxpayers are getting a good deal, which the government has since committed to doing within 120 days of a contract being signed.

Though, with a long-term deal, it could be decades before the nearly $2-billion bypass project can be deemed money well-spent – unlike the less than $200 dropped on a backyard barbecue.

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