What are Public-Private Partnerships? DBIA P3 Primer Explains

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What are Public-Private Partnerships? DBIA P3 Primer Explains

As the public-private partnership (P3) delivery model gains traction in the United States, many members of the public and private sectors responsible for delivering infrastructure are seeking a better understanding of P3s and potential opportunities to put this delivery model to work in their communities.  The DBIA’s P3 Committee has developed a P3 Primer that provides an introductory overview of P3s in an effort to help public owners, designers and builders, many of whom comprise DBIA’s membership, and other stakeholders to navigate the growing U.S. P3 market.

The P3 Primer covers, among other things, commonly used terms and structures, key benefits and misconceptions, considerations for design-build as a component of P3s, and the importance of sufficient authorizing legislation.

Given the broad and varying meaning of P3 in the United States, the first challenge for the DBIA’s newly formed P3 Committee was settling on a definition of P3 for purposes of the primer.  While the primer assumes a relatively broad definition, erring on the side of inclusiveness, the common ground is design-build “plus” – i.e., a transfer of responsibilities to the private sector (as agreed upon by the parties and reflected in the relevant contract) that goes beyond pure design-build, which is already a well-established delivery model that is familiar to DBIA members.

The P3 Primer is the culmination of months of collaborative discussion and development by a dedicated working group within the DBIA P3 Committee that comprises representatives with expertise from across the P3 spectrum and sectors.  The effort was led by Susan Roberts, Vice Chair of the DBIA P3 Committee, and incorporated the robust input and perspectives of the full P3 Committee and other DBIA committees.

The P3 Primer, along with other P3-related resources developed or compiled by the DBIA P3 Committee, may be found on DBIA’s Public-Private Partnership web page.