Panel Paper: Public-Private Partnership Policy Challenges and Best Practices: A U.S. Perspective

Saturday, November 9, 2013 : 1:45 PM
3017 Monroe (Washington Marriott)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Jonathan Gifford and Porter Wheeler, George Mason University
Public-private partnerships (P3s) to deliver public-use infrastructure have been applied frequently in Europe, Asia, and many parts of the world, but they have just begun to emerge as a serious alternative in the United States.  

States and regional authorities have responded by exploring P3 approaches and enacting legislation to provide a framework for applying P3s to specific needs.  The Federal government has provided guidance and a variety of credit support mechanisms have emerged for application and assistance to infrastructure development and operation.  There exists a wide array of P3 formats, and no type has emerged as predominant to date.  In part this diversity reflects that there are no set rules or standards for P3s (except where individual state legislation dictates certain criteria be met).  However, differing underlying conditions, local needs and priorities, and perceptions of the private investor market suggest that P3 formats in use will necessarily vary for different applications and will continue to do so.

Recent legislation continues and enhances the Federal role in P3s by expanding the credit assistance available by a large multiple and providing new guidance activities for US Department of Transportation, including requirements that States consider P3 approaches in project development and that model legislation and contracting formats be developed.

This paper provides an elaboration of best practices gleaned from case studies of a number of P3s in various stages of development, ranging from those still in preparation to several that are operational.