Vart tar pengarna vägen?: om behovet av bättre uppföljning för ökad effektivitet i offentlig sektor

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Mats Bergman
Svante Mandell

It is possible to enhance the cost effectiveness of infrastructure investments in the public sector. In this VTI report it is also stated that the costs for implementing a system which would facilitate the identification of successes and failures are very small. The paper is based on experiences from a research project sponsored by the Swedish Competition Authority. The focus is on cost comparisons throughout investment projects’ life cycle. The cycle starts with the government’s long-term investment program; then follows the (annual) decision by the parliament to allocate appropriations for projects, based on this program; in the next step, and after having tendered construction, a contract is signed with an entrepreneur; and finally the cost realization as registered in the accounting system provides the bottom line cost. It is demonstrated that it is not feasible to track costs through this life cycle, i.e. to compare costs in the early phases with the final costs. Alternative hypotheses which would explain the logic behind the impossibility of follow-ups are suggested. Irrespective of motive, the situation means that the government’s possibility to control the agencies with responsibility for implementing major projects is jeopardized.

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