Directorate for Public Governance

Co-ordinating infrastructure policy across levels of government

 

OECD Framework for the Governance of Infrastructure

6. CO-ORDINATE INFRASTRUCTURE POLICY ACROSS LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT

There should be robust co-ordination mechanisms for infrastructure policy within and across levels of government.


The co-ordination mechanisms should encourage a balance between a whole of government perspective and sectoral and regional views.


WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

  • Collaboration for public investment strategies across jurisdictions and levels of government is difficult, even in situations where the actors involved clearly recognise the need for it.

  • Transaction costs, competitive pressures, resource constraints, differing priorities and fears that the distribution of costs or benefits from co-operation will be one-sided, can all impede efforts to bring governments together.

  • The national government holds a key strategic role in convening investment priorities, strengthening capacities of different levels of government involved in managing public investment, and ensuring sound framework conditions for governing public investment.

  • Horizontal cooperation between sub-national governments can also be important for reaching economies of scale.

  • Though the potential benefits of coordination across jurisdictions may seem obvious, coordination was perceived as a significant challenge by most SNGs surveyed in 2015 (OECD-CoR survey).

  • More than three-quarters of SNGs reported the absence of a joint investment strategy with neighbouring cities or regions.

 

KEY POLICY QUESTIONS:

  • Are the competencies related to infrastructure development allocated clearly and coherently across levels of government?

  • Do financing needs match the mandates granted to sub-national governments for infrastructure development?

  • What are the main coordination challenges for infrastructure policy across levels of government?

  • What are the fiscal and policy coordination instruments across levels of government?

  • What are the governance instruments or fiscal incentives to enhance coordination across jurisdictions for infrastructure investment? Do they work properly?
   

SHARE OF SUB-NATIONAL PUBLIC INVESTMENT IN TOTAL PUBLIC INVESTMENT

 

 

 

 

 

 

BENCHMARK INDICATORS

  • Formal mechanisms/bodies for coordination of public investment across levels of government;

  • Coordination bodies/mechanisms have a multi-sector approach (across multiple ministries/departments);

  • Co-ordination mechanisms are frequently used and produce clear outputs/outcomes;

  • Co-financing arrangements for infrastructure investment;

  • Higher levels of government provide incentives for cross-jurisdictional co-ordination.

 

GETTING INFRASTRUCTURE RIGHT

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Overview of current practices in infrastructure governance and practical tools to help manage infrastructure.

 

 


>> OECD Framework for the Governance of Infrastructure


 

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