torsdag 18 april 2013

Angående NKS - Dyr OPS ger falsk trygghet


Efter gårdagens blogginlägg om att Nya Karolinska försenas och fördyras där jag tipsar om ett inslag på YouTube så har jag fått en bra fråga om OPS (Offentlig-Privat Samverkan) som är värd att lyfta fram:

"Du nämner i inslaget att OPS kan innebära att den trygghet det innebär är skenbar, och att skattebetalarna i slutändan kan få stå för riskerna i alla fall. Hur kan det komma sig?"

Jo, finessen med OPS är ju att betala lite (?) extra till bolaget/byggherren just för att slippa ett ekonomiskt risktagande. Bolaget brukar, för att skydda sig själv, bilda en så kalla Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) som utgör en slags inkapsling av själva OPS-uppdraget. I NKS-affären bildar Skanskas och Innisfrees gemensamma projektbolag Swedish Hospital Partners denna SPV.

Men som jag nämner i videoinslaget på Youtube så har det hänt att uppdragstagare, t ex Innisfree (!), har hoppat av OPS-affärer (eller som de heter på engelska, Public Private Partnership).

Detta framgår bl a av en utfrågning i det brittiska parlamentet där man genomlyst för- och nackdelar med OPS/PPP där ett utdrag ses nedan.

"Question 4. Is there significant risk transfer to the private sector or is it more apparent than real?"

" 30. The underlying principle of PFI and PPP is that risk is transferred from the public to private sectors and yet there is no comprehensive evaluation or independent research on the actual risks of PFI contracts. UNISON's report "Public risk for private gain?" (July 2004) illustrated the often illusory nature of risk transfer of PFI and PPP schemes.

31. Failed PFI contracts, on too many occasions, have had to be rescued by the public sector meeting additional costs. The failed Metronet PPP went into administration just four years into its £17 billionn contract to modernise two thirds of the London Underground and the failure has cost the taxpayer £410 million.

32. The current economic climate is leading to huge pressures on contracts and pressures on PFI companies leading to the collapse of a number of PFI schemes. Companies that got into serious problems in the past include Jarvis, Ballast, Melville Dundas and Metronet. Recent projects facing severe problems include the Defence Animal Centre, a project for 29 Cornwall schools and the collapse of William Verry a facilities management contractor for Hackney Council's secondary schools. In theory, the special purpose vehicle should replace a failing company and there should be reasonable continuity for the public authority. In practice they face higher charges as in Tower Hamlets and Cornwall, where the financier and investor, Abbey and Innisfree, both withdrew, leaving the councils to pick up the pieces.

33. The public sector generally retains demand risk—the number of patients or prisoners or pupils—with the result that if demand changes, the public sector again picks up the bill. A number of PFI schools have had to close due to falling pupil numbers, leaving public bodies with huge financial liabilities. When the newly built Comart and Media Arts School closed in Brighton after pupil numbers halved, Brighton Council had to pay PFI contractors £4.5 million for terminating the PFI deal. And, NHS Wandsworth is faced with costs upwards of £350 million for the Roehampton PFI Queen Mary's hospital which cost £73 million to rebuild, due to the hospital using more services than planned. The high level of repayment is likely to impact on future health services. Without PFI, the long term costs of adapting to significant changes in demand would be much more manageable.

34. In refinancing deals, the public sector can end up with more risk, without commensurate reductions in their charges. At the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital Trust the PFI consortium made a windfall profit of £115m and increased their annual rate of return to investors from 19% to 60%. The new deal left the hospital with a longer contract and greater potential liabilities of up to £273 million, if the contract was terminated early. The deal was described by the Commons' public accounts committee as "the unacceptable face of capitalism."

Avslutningsvis vill jag understryka att jag inte är absolut motståndare mot OPS, tvärtom! Det kan sannolikt vara ett bra affärsupplägg för offentlig förvaltning i flera fall. Men det kanske inte var så lyckat att använda OPS i NKS-bygget med tanke på affärens storlek, Sveriges och Stockholms oerfarenhet kring OPS - och med tanke på att det bara blev en enda anbudsgivare vid upphandlingen...

 

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