The institutional structure: Taskforce or ad hoc group?


Designating a Taskforce

Suggested organisational structure for management of the PFI review

Deciding on a timetable for implementing the PFI

Time taken to implement a PFI assessment


Designating a taskforce

For a one-off PFI assessment, an ad hoc group can be pulled together, sourcing temporary staff from academia, government departments, business associations and experts from other organisations. If, after having implemented a ‘one-off’ qualitative PFI assessment, support for further assessment builds, there is nothing that prevents it from evolving into a formal body for on-going PFI assessment.

For regular or on-going reviews, a statutory body with a permanent and professional staff dedicated to the task of assessing the investment climate is best since its statutory basis and more secure resources will impart a degree of independence and enhance the transparency and credibility of the results. Such a Taskforce is often required because of the broad coverage of the PFI and the need to coordinate across policy areas. It will conduct the review and make recommendations to Cabinet for decision and then for the relevant ministry to implement. Ideally, it should be established under one of the major economic ministries, such as the Treasury (see chart).


Suggested organisational structure for management of the PFI review


Deciding on a timetable for implementing the PFI

The length of time taken to implement the PFI will vary according to three elements:

  • the type of PFI
  • the number of chapters covered
  • the amount of resources available.

A quantitative PFI usually takes more time to conduct, as it requires multiple ‘rounds’ to ensure the quality of the assessment, although some in-depth qualitative assessments can also be time consuming. More chapters are likely to imply more time necessary to undertake a PFI assessment which will increase the amount of resources required. The more resources allocated, the more likely some or all of the chapters can be implemented simultaneously. The time taken to conduct the assessments of Vietnam, Egypt and South East Europe is shown below.

Time taken to implement a PFI assessment

South East Europe - The Investment Reform Index involved several countries and quantified factors affecting the investment climate, both of which make it a more time consuming process. The time taken in implementation (not including design and preparation) was roughly 6 months.

Egypt - Egypt implemented the PFI in a very short period of time, so as to be able to present the results at the Global Forum on International Investment in November 2006. The PFI assessment of the first three chapters took roughly three months, start to finish. A second, independent assessment was undertaken in 2007 and took six months.

Vietnam - Vietnam was able to complete a pilot assessment within three months, presenting the results at the APEC High Level Public-Private Dialogue in Melbourne in April 2007. Given the warm reception of the pilot study, a second, independent and more complete assessment under the PFI was finished in 2008 and took six months.


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