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Public-private partnership: The new perspective model of interaction

Students of the Academy of Public Administration under the aegis of the President of the Republic of Belarus know how to combine the efforts of the government and business.

Recently, we often said that public-private partnership (PPP) is the future. Yes, the state is able to carry out many costly projects, but funds of domestic business and foreign investors could deal with it as well. Such cooperation, and this is confirmed by the experience of other countries, can quite successfully solve a range of socially and economically relevant issues. But creation of a new model of interaction between government and business is half the battle. We need to educate those who will be able to implement this task in practice. And the first issue of such experts was held recently. About this told «R» Irina NOVIKOVA, head of the department of the economic theory of Academy of Public Administration under the aegis of the President of the Republic of Belarus.

— Until now, we have never prepared this kind of professionals. Were only those who completed an internship abroad, studied in Russia. In connection with the Presidential Directive № 4 we, in Academy of Public Administration uder the aegis of the President of the Republic of Belarus, have relied on the training of specialists in the field of PPP. We have opened a practice-oriented magistracy «Management of investment projects in public-private partnership».

What difficulties have you encountered, creating a new magistracy?

The difficulties that we’ve faced, there were many. First of all, this is still no legislation in sphere of PPP. The draft law was developed in 2011, public took part in its discussion. Then the document is successfully passed the international expertise. Now we expect the adoption of this law.

Today, it is believed that the great need in the law on public-private partnerships do not. It can be successfully replaced by other documents. For example, in the construction of infrastructure facilities – Investment Code...

Public-private partnerships can’t be reduced only to the construction industry. This is any line of business, in which previously worked only state. In the late 90`s of the last century, I had the opportunity to study the experience of public-private partnerships, while I was on training in the USA. By the way, USA is due to the implementation of infrastructure projects on PPP in 1996 for the first time received a government budget surplus, although in the first half of the 90’s they had a deficit.

Consider a situation in the Belarus as an example. Let us say, we have executive committees, which have the row of functions in certain areas. For these purposes, they receive money from the state budget, which is usually not enough. In the USA in such cases, said: «Seek those who can do the job for the money». And they put this function to tender.

Not all examples of PPP that we see today are positive. Some of them are related to corruption cases...

Of course, these apprehensions are not unfounded. But in order to prevent such a possibility, it is enough to introduce strict regulations by which you can keep track of how the money was spent. Has not fulfilled obligations stole state money – carry criminal responsibility, pay the fine. Yes, the PPP model in the housing sector, which we observe in the case of Russia, came out not the most successful. But the casket opens simply: they launched this model without standards, regulations, and other mechanisms to track the performance of work by private structures. Precisely they (regulations, standards, etc.) allow creating the conditions to discourage corruption.

However, the system of public-private partnership has justified itself, the whole world is going this way. Let it does not always produce immediate and massive results, but they are. In Germany, for example, from the PPP expected budget savings of up to 30 percent, and only got 10. But this is no small figure!

Graduates of the practice-oriented magistracy, when they prepared the dissertation, were ordered to go on a real project, which could then be implemented. How they coped, because the legal framework is under development, and still no working business model?

Yes, in this was a definite challenge. On the other hand, investment projects are being realized now in all sectors of the economy. So, you could get such a project and to transform it from an exclusively state model in the business model of public-private partnership. And our students of magistracy coped.

Irina Vasilievna, the current graduation of magistracy of Academy of Public Administration uder the aegis of the President of the Republic of Belarus there is specialist practitioners who are ready to work tomorrow in a variety of sectors, realizing what they were taught. Can we say that behind a practice-oriented magistracy is a future?

We are late with this form for 10 years. When we began to develop a master’s training, for some reason we have concentrated only on the theoretical direction. Western universities have two branches: they are let out a master’s with academic preparation, which then will work in science, but also provide training of business practitioners. When we cut off the second branch, we lost the specialists, which working in the real and financial sectors, would receive more new knowledge. As far as claimed in Belarus is the direction, you can decide for yourself: all of our students studied for their money and they all got jobs in their field.

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