Public-Private Partnerships (P3s): What Local Government Managers Need to Know

This policy issue white paper defines the types and characteristics of public-private partnerships, along with their advantages and disadvantages, and offers eight case examples.

Dec 20, 2017
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Public-private partnerships (P3s) represent a new and exciting approach to local government delivery of facilities and infrastructure. P3s provide local governments with opportunities to advance facility and infrastructure projects, tap private sector expertise, and leverage private sector financing.

This policy issue white paper explains what P3s are, their potential uses, and their advantages and disadvantages. You'll also learn about:

  • Differences between P3s and traditional facility and infrastructure contracts
  • Local government authority for P3s
  • Financing components of short- and long-term P3s 
  • Small and rural local governments and P3s
  • Continuing challenges with long-term P3s.

Eight case examples describe a variety of uses of P3s, such as to design, build, and operate a water treatment plant and to design, build, finance, operate, and maintain a court house. The paper concludes with an extensive resource list for readers seeking additional information before pursuing or assessing a P3 arrangement for their own situations.

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