By Kiana Wilburg
When it comes to Public Private Partnerships (PPP), the Government of Guyana welcomes with open arms, “unsolicited proposals.” It made this known in its policy framework which was released recently by the Finance Ministry.
According to the document, an unsolicited proposal is an application by a private party to undertake a PPP project which was not specifically requested by Government. The administration said that unsolicited proposals may allow it to benefit from private sector innovation and ideas meeting infrastructure needs.
The government noted, however, that this arrangement may also bring challenges. As such, the Government said it will consider unsolicited proposals that are demonstrated to be of public interest, but only under a framework that preserves competitive pressure, transparency, and fiscal discipline.
The government said it will accept unsolicited proposals, only if they fall into one of three categories. In the first category, the government explained that the proposal would have to be a solution to a publicly-identified challenge that is unique to the private entity proposing it.
The administration said that the proponent may own assets or technologies that make it uniquely able to provide a needed public service.
In the second category, the government said that the proposal would have to be an innovative solution to a priority infrastructure or public service challenge—that is, a project that was not already under consideration or development by the Government.
In the third category, the proposal can be a way of taking advantage of new markets, technologies or unique project ideas.
The government said that the unsolicited PPP proposal will be dealt with in one of two ways: Concept Proposal and Detailed Proposal.
For the former, the government explained that if the proposal that is received from a proponent is in a basic concept format or idea, then it will go through the following stages: an initial identification and screening process to assess the viability of the proposal; review and approval processes; and if the project is approved, procurement will follow an open, competitive tender process.
The government said that the original proponent will not be awarded any special points or privileges in the award of the tender.
With regard to the Detailed Proposal, it was noted that if the project proponent submits a full Business Case, then the proposal will go through several stages. These include the review and approval processes. It was also noted that the proponent and the Government will reach an agreement (Project Development Agreement) on the cost to the proponent of preparing the Business Case report.
The proponent’s Business Case report will be made available to all bidders for the project, except that all confidential information contained in the proposal will be identified and protected.
The Policy notes, “After receiving a concept proposal, the Government may allow the USP proponent to develop specified feasibility studies during the Business Case stage. If the Government decides such, it will enter into a Project Development Agreement with the USP proponent that outlines the terms under which the USP proponent will undertake these activities.”
It adds, “This Project Development Agreement will cover, at the minimum, the compensation structure for the USP Proponent, dissemination of the studies to other Bidders, and areas of confidential information.”
If, in the subsequent tender, the original proponent of the unsolicited PPP proposal is not selected as the winning bidder, the winning bidder may be required to compensate the proponent for the costs incurred in preparing the Business Case report, to an amount announced in advance to bidders.
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