Chapter 3 From the hypothetical to reality: an analysis of ex-ante and ex-post VfM in Irish PPP schools
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We compare the ex-ante and ex-post performance of Ireland's first Public-Private Partnership (PPP) for a bundle of schools with a comparable set of traditionally procured (Design & Construct) schools. We find that PPP schools were considerably more expensive to construct; however, they deliver a significantly higher level of service, building maintenance, and quality. In financial terms, our data does not permit an accurate judgment of value-for-money. Although ex-ante estimates indicate that annual operation and maintenance costs are significantly higher in traditionally procured schools, we cannot confirm this using ex-post data. We do, however, gain insights from data on the annual funding of schools. This shows that PPP schools are allocated higher and more reliable annual funding, which confers considerable advantages in terms of resourcing maintenance and ensuring a consistent quality of service. This finding raises a serious policy issue regarding inequities in the funding provided to PPPs versus traditionally procured schools.

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