Newfoundland & Labrador’s fiscal situation is, in the words of our premier, “terrible.” Permanent reforms to program and service delivery are necessary to make government less expensive. Government can achieve cost savings, while maintaining public services and improving service quality, by partnering with the private sector in the delivery of government services and infrastructure.
This is not a new idea.
The private sector is already involved in the delivery of many government programs, services and in building all of the infrastructure in our province. Government must look for new opportunities, to expand those relationships, and to strengthen those partnerships to maximize their value to the public.
These partnerships are common around the world and in every other province in Canada – with the exception of Newfoundland & Labrador.
Why Wait in Line?
Why Wait in Line? reviewed partnership arrangements in other jurisdictions to help understand the benefits, barriers and responsible guidelines for implementation of partnerships. The report reviewed hundreds of successful partnerships across Canada and internationally, and demonstrated overall savings of up to 61%. The large majority of partnerships around the world result in significant reductions in cost overruns and delays on infrastructure projects, and improved outcomes to citizens on program and service delivery – including dramatic reductions in wait times, improved service and satisfaction levels, and service modernization.
Why Partnerships Work
Partnerships work because they separate regulation from service delivery, and take advantage of both party’s strengths.
- They allow government to focus its limited capacity on regulation and core government functions.
- They harness the private sector’s capacity to innovate and find efficiencies.
- They introduce competition and diversity into public services.
- They increase accountability to citizens through outcome based contracts with private providers.
- They drive commercial activity and grow the economy.
All of this leads to improved outcomes to citizens, and better value for tax dollars.
This is good news for Newfoundland & Labrador. While we have the highest program and service expenditures in the country, many of our outcomes lag behind those of other jurisdictions. We are the only province in Canada not utilizing partnerships.
We can’t afford to wait any longer. Tell government that you want partnerships in Budget 2016.