Natalie Mehra, Ontario Health Coalition »

This report focuses on 100 (public-private partnerships) P3s, primarily hospital projects in Canada along with some road projects and other international examples. It examines how the projects were flawed, failed, or eventually abandoned completely. Despite the benefits touted by P3 promoters, this report highlights the pitfalls in the process, including the built-in incentive for the private sector to oversell their abilities. Examining the records, they find that P3 projects have been prone to cost-overruns, design and construction flaws, delays resulting from contract negotiations and contract disputes, and serious lapses in quality control.

Furthermore, there is the broader conflict of interest that exists when handing over a public service to the private sector: while the service is meant to benefit as many people as possible, the private sector is primarily motivated to make a profit, thus making them a less than ideal service provider. It also emphasizes that the business cases put forward often rest on unrealistic assumptions of productivity and overstated value for money, neither of which are realized throughout the life of the project. The report goes on to provide details about the projects it lists as failed, flawed, or abandoned, providing ample evidence that this project delivery method is not all that it promises to be and it is often the public that pays not only financially but by receiving fewer benefits.