The best way to get construction projects done on time and within budget is through the public private partnership (PPP) model, said Joseph Rahael, managing director, Amera Caribbean Development Ltd. "Once the PPP model is used, it places the risk in the hands of the people who are best equipped to manage that risk and, in this case, it is the private sector developers. At the end of the day, this model transfers the risk away from the Government to the private sector where there is no chance of project delays or cost overruns. Many governments in the world use this as their preferred methodology. It can be done for schools, hospitals, stadiums and other projects," he told the Business Guardian.
He said the Government's methodology of executing projects is "flawed." "They have been embarking on the traditional design, bid, build methodology of construction, which means that they form an agency like the Urban Development Corporation of T&T (Udecott) and they task that agency with getting the designs done, hiring project managers, entering into contracts and executing work on this basis. A government is not equipped to manage that approach because of how the private sector runs," he said.
Rahael gave the example of the $140 million Milsherv project, the office accommodation for the Environment and Marine Division of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA). "Last October, it was given the go ahead by the Minister of Finance and it keeps in line with the PPP model the Minister (of Finance) has been talking about. It is the proper model for the Government and private sector to come together to execute projects," he said. He said when the Government takes on the risk, this could cause "disaster."