A comparative study of institutional frameworks for local public service partnerships in Finland and Scotland

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Karlsson, Paula Sonja ; Valkama, Pekka ; Asenova, Darinka (2015)

This research presents a cross-national comparative review of the institutional arrangements for how local public service partnerships are regulated and governed in Finland and Scotland.Both legal and administrative differences of partnership policies are analysed in order to explain the nature of the incentives and obligations for local governments to collaborate with external partners. Institutional theory and conceptual partnership approaches are utilised in the analysis. The Scottish institutional framework provides defined requirements for public-private partnerships. The partnership term is not recognised in the Finnish legal framework;instead it operates with the general concept of co-operation. Both Scottish and Finnish municipalities have more institutional obligations than incentives for partnerships or collaboration. The Scottish institutional framework requires municipalities to partner with external organisations, while in Finland, the legislature has not been proactive in promoting or encouraging public-private partnership. While the political incentives for partnerships are stronger in Scotland, Scottish municipalities have limited financial incentives to look for budgetary savings from partnership arrangements. In contrast, in Finland such financial incentives exist. However, the fixed forms of municipal-municipal collaboration may inhibit the search for more effective forms of partnerships.
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