The European Court of Auditors (ECA) will publish a special report on “Public Private Partnerships in the EU: Widespread shortcomings and limited benefits” on Tuesday 20 March 2018 at 11h30 in 23 EU languages.
ABOUT THE AUDIT
The ECA assessed whether EU-funded Public Private Partnerships (PPP) projects had been effectively managed and provided adequate value for money, account being taken of the trend towards more intensively leveraging public funds with private finance through PPPs.
The auditors assessed 12 EU co-financed PPPs in France, Greece, Ireland and Spain in the fields of road transport and information and communication technology, with a total project cost of €9.6 billion and an EU contribution of €2.2 billion.
The report is expected to point to widespread shortcomings and limited benefits, having impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of spending, as well as the risks to value for money and transparency. The auditors are expected to make a range of recommendations to the Commission and the Member States, including on financial impact of delays and the cost borne by the public partner.
ABOUT THE TOPIC
PPPs are long term contractual arrangements between the government and a private partner. They can be designed to achieve a wide array of objectives in various sectors, such as transport, social housing and healthcare, and can be structured under different approaches.
Since the 1990s, 1749 PPPs worth a total of €336 billion have been implemented in the EU. These have been mainly in the field of transport, which in 2016 accounted for one third of the entire year’s investment, ahead of healthcare and education.
Between 2000 and 2014, the EU provided €5.6 billion for 84 PPPs, with a total project cost of €29.2 billion. The main EU source of PPP funding were Structural and Cohesion Funds grants. Since 2015, PPP projects have also been funded under the EFSI.
The ECA’s special reports set out the results of its audits of EU policies and programmes or management topics related to specific budgetary areas. The ECA selects and designs these audit tasks to be of maximum impact by considering the risks to performance or compliance, the level of income or spending involved, forthcoming developments and political and public interest.