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The Warsaw Voice » Business » June 3, 2014
Innovative Poland
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Innovative District Conference
June 3, 2014   
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Just two years ago, local government officials in Poland were highly cautious about public-private partnership (PPP) projects.

The law on PPP entered into force in 2008 and was amended several times, but essentially remained moribund for several years. The reason was that local governments were scared stiff of working with private businesses for fear of facing allegations of corruption. It took several successful pioneering PPP projects to finally bolster the confidence of local governments and businesses. Attitudes towards PPP projects also changed following a 2013 report from the central auditing office that was positive about PPP projects. It also helped that professionals and experts, lawyers in particular, became involved in such projects. Studies have clearly shown that the most successful district authorities are those that have used professional consulting services and analyzed what caused earlier projects to fail.

In order to further encourage public-private partnerships in Poland, we have decided that our Innovative District conference for local government authorities will largely focus on PPP projects this year. We have invited top experts and practitioners to take part in the conference. We believe that PPP projects present major opportunities for local governments so long as they know how to make the most of them.

One other area that we consider to be a hot topic lately are lighting systems in districts. This involves not only the need to modernize dated systems and improve the cost-efficiency of power grids—the way people think about management of lighting systems also needs to change, as competent management can improve safety for residents and help traffic flow more smoothly.

Projects such as those above need funding, which is why we will try to identify support programs offered to local governments and conducted by the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management (NFO¦iGW) and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Development.

Our second Innovative District conference is addressed to those local government officials who are seeking new solutions, are keen to learn how to obtain national and EU funds for local projects and are considering issuing municipal bonds. How can they achieve these goals? And what do they need to do to carry out a successful project? We will try to answer these and more questions with the help of experts. This year’s conference will also comprise workshops on PPP projects with special certificates issued to each workshop participant.

The second Innovative District conference will be held at the Warsaw Stock Exchange June 24. See you there!

El¿bieta Wrzecionkowska
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