The CAMF is actually several documents of which two of the most important are the Overview and the Guidelines.
The overview states that CAMF has the following objectives:
The drawing of a relationship between capital spending and each unit's business plan, the apparent freeing of "managers to manage," in return for greater accountability in terms of achieving outcomes set by their political masters and the avowed decision of these political masters to step back from the process of project design, make the CAMF a textbook NPM exercise.
In terms of risk and cost management, the CAMF makes important strides because it reminds public servants to assess and measure the potential risks and costs in the projects they are undertaking, both during construction and over the project's entire operational life.
Finally, the CAMF reiterates a key government priority to maintain a balanced budget while ensuring necessary service delivery and, as a result, "[t]he framework promotes alternative service delivery options, including public-private partnerships [and] provides checks and balances to ensure accountability and effective management." This need to balance financial and program outcomes is reiterated when agencies are told that they must meet their "inherent responsibilities" to serve the public and deliver necessary services.
Not surprisingly, those who were, and still are, critical of the government's embrace of P3s don't see the CAMF as a set of neutral bureaucratic procedures meant to realize state obligations in the best possible manner and meant to free the creativity of the public sector.
The CAMF also told investors that, unlike the situation in the past and in other jurisdictions, where governments backed down whenever a P3 ran into criticism, the government was now committed to seeing realistic projects through to completion rather than buckling to vocal critics.
In summarizing this discussion of the CAMF, something must also be said about Partnerships BC.
Its relationship here to the CAMF is actually spelled out in the agency's operating directions.
Having looked at how the CAMF and Partnerships BC could be seen as driving P3s, it is also important to acknowledge that the CAMF can also be a potential barrier to execution of ill-conceived projects.
The CAMF can be seen as an attempt to replace this with a transformational model of leadership.