The Ontario government has launched a new framework for receiving and evaluating infrastructure proposals from the private sector. A web portal will obtain unsolicited infrastructure proposals (USP) through an existing procurement.
According to the Ontario government website, the portal is part of a USP framework that provides a clear structure for receiving and assessing unsolicited proposals. Canadian and international jurisdictions including Toronto, Nova Scotia, United Kingdom, United States and Australia have established USP processes and guidelines to promote private-sector participation and innovation.
“The people and companies that build and invest in infrastructure have told us loud and clear that they have ideas to improve Ontario’s infrastructure. We are listening. That is why we have launched Ontario’s first unsolicited proposals program,” said Laurie Scott, Minister of Infrastructure.
This marks the first time there has been a formal process for submitting USPs to the Ontario government.
Through this new approach, private-sector ideas with the potential to improve public infrastructure and related services will be considered using a consistent and fair process, states Ontario’s government site.
“An unsolicited proposal framework is a leading global practice to leverage the expertise of the private sector to develop innovative infrastructure solutions to benefit the people of Ontario and make government open for business,” said Scott. “It provides a clear path for industry to share proposals we might otherwise not have developed on our own.”
The program is interested in proposals that relate to Ontario’s core types of infrastructure, including transit projects, health care facilities, highways, law enforcement facilities, housing and digital infrastructure,” such as the province’s broadband and cellular communications networks.
Proposals must clearly demonstrate a value or benefit for the people of Ontario and relate to the development or improvement of an infrastructure asset to be considered.
“We will always work hard for the people, but we must acknowledge that government doesn’t always have all the answers,” said Scott. “Our new USP framework will ensure we are listening to the people and businesses that build and operate infrastructure in Ontario to find the best ideas and make them a reality.”