Advantages and Disadvantages of Public Private Partnerships

Advantages and Disadvantages of Public Private Partnerships

There are many advantages and disadvantages of public private partnerships that should be considered before entering such a co- venture. A public private partnership refers to a venture in which funding and operations are run by a government agency or authority and a private sector entity. Over the years, public private partnerships have become increasingly popular internationally.

Public private partnerships are common in different areas including, infrastructure, transportation and gas and oil exploration.

Today, governments at all levels are faced with budgetary constraints yet the public needs them to deliver certain services.  Simply put, partnerships between the public and private sectors are critical in ensuring that a country develops economically.

One of the major advantages of public partnership is efficient management. Efficiency is very important in the management of developmental projects. This is achieved when the public sector and private company work together on a project. Plans as well as strategies are formulated and implemented more efficiently.

Another advantage of public private partnership is the improvement of the quality of the end results of a project. Partnership between a public agency and a private company brings technological advancement. This provides the necessary solutions for the completion of a project. Many private companies have highly advanced technology. When the government partners with such companies technology that is needed to deliver quality results is achieved.

The speed with which projects are executed is also enhanced due to the combined efforts of the government agency and the private company. In addition, the cost of accomplishing developmental projects is reduced through public private partnership. Both the government and the private company provide the necessary capital for development projects.

Nevertheless, there are drawbacks or disadvantages of public private partnerships as well. The difference in the work culture is one of the disadvantages of this venture. Differences in the functioning of a government agency and the private sector company can cause problems in the execution of the project.

Changes in government policies, often caused by changes in the electoral make up,  can also affect the model of the public private partnership. Such changes can affect capital flow or direction to favor the government leading to losses for a private company. This is one of the reasons why some companies fear to get into public private partnerships.

Mismanagement of the project is another disadvantage of a public private partnership. Mismanagement of the involved project is always a threat to the programs that are undertaken by the private and public sector. This is caused by unanticipated or unplanned challenges that lead to loss of resources that can benefit the government.

Finance Panel Gets Early Jump On Renewing Tax Extenders

The Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday approved a bill to renew for another two years the package of so-called tax extenders, a collection of more than 50 targeted tax benefits for businesses and individuals.

The committee voted 23-3 in favor of the legislation, which now moves to the Senate floor. Committee Chairman Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, said renewing the package, which expired at the end of last year, would give taxpayers more certainty and give lawmakers time to figure out how to extend some of the provisions permanently.

The tax extenders are typically renewed by Congress every one to two years. Lawmakers last renewed the extenders in December, but they expired mere days later. Congress has gotten into the habit of allowing the provisions to expire and then renewing them retroactively at the end of the year so taxpayers can take advantage of them when they file their tax returns the following year.

To avoid endlessly repeating the cycle, some have tried to enact permanent policy for some of the most popular extenders, such as the tax credit for research and development, but they have so far been unsuccessful. Last year, former House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., put together a deal with former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., that would have permanently extended several of the provisions, but that deal was scuttled by a veto threat from President Barack Obama, who said the deal would not have done enough for the middle class.

In February, the House approved a number of bills permanently renewing provisions such as the research credit and the deduction for state and local sales taxes. The changes are pending in the Senate.

One of the provisions expected to come at the highest cost is an extension of the renewable production tax credit, under which taxpayers can claim a 2.3 cent per kilowatt-hour tax credit for wind and other renewable electricity. That is expected to cost nearly $10.5 billion over 10 years, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. At the markup on Tuesday, many Republicans on the committee advocated for phasing out the tax credit, while some Democrats defended it or suggested that incentives for oil and gas production be phased out as well.

The version of the bill passed by the committee contained some small changes introduced by Hatch, including one revenue raiser that would requiring mortgage lenders to provide more information to the Internal Revenue Service to improve compliance. That measure was also included in a bill to pay for an extension of the Highway Trust Fund passed by the House last week.

—By Martin J. Milita, Jr., Esq. Senior Director

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Dedicated Ebola Hospitals by State Sought After Nurse Infection

Today, New York Gov. Cuomo announced 8 hospitals designated to treat Ebola in that state.  This follows along a plan by the CDC to have “Ebola Designated Hospitals” in every state. U.S. and local health officials want to set up dedicated hospitals in each state for Ebola patients, part of a new emphasis on safety for health-care workers after a nurse caring for an infected patient in Dallas tested positive for the virus.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett held a press conference this morning – but there are not designated centers but rather a push for all hospitals to be aware and get procedures in place.

In New Jersey the state’s largest health-care union wants any confirmed Ebola patient treated at a single designated hospital, to both minimize exposure of workers and provide care by expert teams. Such a centralized approach would go against current state policy, which has emphasized the need for each of the state’s 72 acute-care hospitals to be ready to treat the deadly virus. That union, the Health Professionals and Allied Employees/AFT-AFLCIO, would also like to see the state order every hospital to drill for encountering the unprecedented illness.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama is naming Ron Klain, a former chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden and an adviser at the Obama White House, as the point man on the U.S. government’s response to the Ebola crisis.

President Obama has been under pressure to name an Ebola “czar” to oversee health security in the U.S. and actions to help stem the outbreak in West Africa, where nearly 4,500 people have died from the virus.

Technology as a “force multiplier” to give law enforcement a leg-up on fighting crime

With city budget shortfalls opening up across the country, police departments are  now facing a new reality of cutbacks, layoffs and even outright mergers and consolidations of entire police departments with others. With federal subsidies disappearing (federal support for criminal justice assistance grant programs shrank by 43 percent between 2011 and 2013), police had few options.

With diminishing dollars law enforcement agencies must find ways to operate more affordably. One obvious way is to use technology in more efficient ways.

One example can be found in Camden, N.J., a poverty-ridden, high-crime city of 77,000, located on the banks of the Delaware River, across from Philadelphia. Desperate cut costs, the city disbanded its entire police force. The Camden County Police Department rehired most of the laid-off officers, and hired another 100 at much lower salaries and benefits, to create a consolidated regional police force. The move is considered highly controversial. While police departments in other jurisdictions have merged or consolidated to cut costs, none have gone down the path that Camden has taken.

The Camden concept is to use technology as a “force multiplier” to give law enforcement a leg-up on fighting crime. The Camden Police Department has set up a real-time tactical operational intelligence center that pulls together data from an array of cameras, gunshot location devices and automated license plate readers. Real-time data is fed back to the cops on the beat, giving them useful information when they respond to incidents. Even patrol car locations are tracked so officers can be deployed where they are most needed.

The situation in Camden certainly is unique and it’s too early to tell whether the force multiplier approach is making a dent in the crime rate (in the first 12 months of the new department, the city recorded 57 murders, down from 67 in 2012), but in some ways it crystallizes what’s happening to police departments across the country.

As city budgets start returning to normal, police departments have increased their investments in technology. In May, the major law enforcement agencies sent a letter to the House and Senate Homeland Security Committee asking that the National Preparedness Grant Program reconsider a series of proposed changes that would reduce funding for terrorism prevention. A 2013 survey by the Institute of Justice found that 78 percent of law enforcement agencies had their grant funding cut since 2010 and 43 percent reported cuts of between 11 and 25 percent.

With new technologies emerging all the time and a new normal when it comes to funding, how should the police proceed? New technologies must be benchmarked, with metrics that forecast just what their impact will be on operations before they are fully implemented. Second, police departments need to set policies, especially around tools that gather data about individuals, such as video, to ensure that the civil liberties and privacy of law-abiding citizens is not compromised.