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.