Infrastructure Workshop explains ‘value for money’ guidelines

New regulations imposed by the UK will change the way the Cayman Islands approaches major infrastructure projects. With the focus firmly on value for money, government and its private sector partners must negotiate a meticulous set of guidelines aimed at ensuring taxpayers get the best deal. With a host of new projects in the pipeline, including a proposed expansion of Grand Cayman’s airport, Deloitte hosted a workshop to bring the key players up to speed on the implications of the new law. 

 

Strict new rules to ensure taxpayers get value for money on major public projects were explained in depth at a workshop hosted by Deloitte this month. 

Experts discussed the practical implications of new laws, introduced in the Cayman Islands in 2012, to ensure islanders get the best deal on major infrastructure developments. 

The regulations will underpin forthcoming projects, likely to include an expansion of the airport, new berthing facilities for cruise ships and a new waste management facility. 

The guidelines, known as the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility, put a new emphasis on government obtaining better value for money, improved risk management and financial accountability. 

Nick Prior, a partner with Deloitte in London, said following a strict set of guidelines in the planning and procurement stage could save money in the long term. 

Prior, who specialises in complex government and infrastructure projects, suggested the Cayman Islands should produce its own version of the “green book” – a guidance document developed by the UK treasury to guide the government on public projects. 

He told guests at the workshop, at the Westin Casuarina Hotel: “The Green Book describes how the economic, financial and social and environmental assessments of a proposal should be combined.  

“Implementing a guidance document similar to the Green Book in Cayman would help ensure consistency and transparency in the appraisal process throughout government.” 

Prior also gave an overview of the key components of FFR and the UK’s expectations and requirements. 

Gianni Ciufo, partner with Deloitte in Toronto, further explained some of the steps required in assessing value for money on capital projects. 

Using a case-study of a fictitious highway project, he explained some of the responsibilities of private companies in public-private partnerships. 

Ciufo added that value for money assessments should be considered alongside strategic goals and not in isolation. 

Lise Baril, senior manager with Deloitte’s Enterprise Risk Services, explained the rationale behind the workshop, which was geared at those working in both the private and public sectors. 

“Deloitte recognises the importance of demonstrating value for money on capital projects. We are committed to support both private and public organisations in building their understanding of the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility requirements and requisite actions for compliance.” 

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