The private sector has for centuries been involved in the provision of public services and infrastructure with, for example, the provision of toll roads, toll bridges and even warships. It has also been involved extensively, and without much disagreement, in the construction of schools, hospitals and roads etc.
“Public-Private Partnership’ (PPP) is the generic term for the relationships formed between public bodies and the private sector, often with the aim of introducing private sector resources and/or expertise in order to help provide and deliver public sector assets and services. It is used to describe a wide variety of working arrangements from loose, informal and strategic partnerships to long-term and more complex forms, with use of private sector funding for capital investment in public services, such as design build finance and operate (DBFO) type service contracts and formal joint venture companies.
Recent years have seen dramatic increases in the number of governments moving forward with PPPs, and the forms of PPP in use across the globe. There are some strongly held, and justifiable, concerns about the way in which public private partnerships have operated in the past. New innovative models are being developed driven by the need to improve infrastructure, at the same time as the global economic downturn which has had a profound effect on the public capital funding available. With the inescapable fact that public authorities must find ways of doing more with less and with infrastructure development nevertheless looming large on government agendas, PPP offers significant opportunities with considerable scope for increasing Public Social Private partnership (PSPP).
At Societas we have experience of a number of the PPP models and are actively gathering information and evaluating the wide variants used internationally including the newer innovative forms. We believe it is essential to assess models used in different parts of the world and to seek novel, innovative and locally appropriate approaches.