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
- 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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