Gabriel García Márquez, the great Colombian writer, said that everyone has three lives: a public life, a private life…and a secret life. This episode of A Dictionary of Finance is about the secret life of infrastructure, because we’re talking about the thing that connects the public life of infrastructure to its private life. Namely, public-private partnerships.
It’s important to know about PPPs, as these partnerships are called, because it’s quite likely that your local or regional government is involved in them. As a citizen, you should know what’s being done with these assets.
Allar and Matt are joined on the podcast by Stuart Broom of the European PPP Expertise Centre.
Stuart explains that a PPP gives the public sector—your local government, for example—the capacity to monitor the private sector managers of its infrastructure and to have clarity about how much it will cost over a period of 25 or 30 years.
He also lays out how PPPs work in managing schools, hospitals, toll roads, public buildings, or “availability-based” roads, and gives some insights into how successful they have been.
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