Thursday, January 06, 2011

On private interests

The CP's expanded story on the Cons' Economic Action Plan rulebreaking includes a noteworthy tidbit about how the Cons tried to claim the rules didn't apply:
By counting individual stimulus projects that were administered through institutions that did not have to comply to the Common Look and Feel policy – including such loosely defined “initiatives” as “moving forward with Public Private Partnerships” – the government was able to claim that “32.1 per cent of all initiatives” were not under the policy and therefore the EAP site needn't apply, either.
To date, my impression is that the main issues of concern about the political use of P3s have been the risk of favouring preferred private-sector partners and the removal of project documentation from the scope of access to information legislation. But if it's equally true that P3s aren't covered by the normal prohibition against using public money for partisan purposes, then doesn't that offer yet another reason to wonder about whose interests are likely to be served when they're used?

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