The Enduring Interdependency of Politics and Markets
Chapter 6: After the ribbon cutting: governing public–private partnerships in the medium- to long-term
Much attention has gone towards ‘up-front’ processes when delivering infrastructure public–private partnerships (PPPs), but less on how to best govern after the ribbon is cut and the infrastructure built. This chapter identifies the primary contractual and institutional governance challenges arising in the medium to long term of PPP concession contracts and explores these governance challenges through interviews with high-level PPP industry insiders. The chapter presents new findings from Australia on the importance of good public administration for successful PPP operation, and on the interesting evolution of medium- to long-term governance arrangements. It finds that although industry interviewees agreed PPP governance had improved significantly, they had differing views on how capable Australian states were and how well this task was being undertaken. The up-front contract was judged as dominating long-term governance arrangements, with the biggest ongoing challenge for PPPs seen as the need greater transparency in order to improve PPP legitimacy in the eyes of citizens. The professionals themselves were indeed split on the current adequacy of PPP transparency. No single institutional model for governing long term contracts was found, indicating a wide variety of feasible options for policy makers.
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