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This column urges caution when it comes to public-private partnerships using an example of a deal that wound up costing the public double what it was meant to, with a price escalation of $35 million to $63 million. In a report, the Auckland Auditor-General found that in this case the city council did not have the expertise and understanding to execute the deal effectively. In this case the most important lesson learned is that accounting issues should not be the sole determinant of entering into the P3 arrangement.