Public-private partnerships (P3s) are a method of alternative procurement for government infrastructure projects. Rather than following the traditional design-bid-build process in which each procurement step is separately contracted for by a government agency, two or more of those steps are combined for improved efficiency and risk transfer. The result is a procurement method that is generally faster and less expensive for delivery of infrastructure projects.
I am pleased to share details about an upcoming conference on public-private partnerships (P3s) for infrastructure in California. The one-day event is being organized by the National Council for Public-Private Partnerships and will examine the basics of P3s, the legal framework in California, practical advice on how to implement a P3 and some good case studies of past projects. The conference will be held at the Portofino Hotel in Redondo Beach on September 9, 2011.
Last week, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed SB 122, which creates a new authority for private sector investors and water service companies to participate in water supply projects. Codified in new Georgia Code §§ 36-91-100 et seq., SB 122 does not overlap with existing statutes, but is a separate, independent authority that may prove useful at helping Georgia meet its future water supply needs, especially in light of the State Water Plan and ongoing restrictions on the use of Lake Lanier by metropolitan Atlanta.
We often see critics linking together private water companies and bottled water as jointly promoting “commodification” of the world’s water supplies. While the differences should be fairly obvious between investor-owned utilities and companies that provide design, construction, operations and maintenance services to governments, on the one hand, and companies that bottle, distribute and sell water to consumers, on the other, last week those differences were brought into clear focus.