Roles of Private-Sector Partners in Transportation Public-Private Partnership Failures

Public-private partnership (PPP) models for public infrastructure delivery are becoming popular among government institutions around the world, due to their embedded potential value for money (VFM) to the public and governments themselves. The experience with infrastructure PPPs internationally have demonstrated many problems and partnership failures, where both the public and private sectors suffered huge losses. Motivated by a number of these failures, this study investigates the actions and decisions of private-sector partners by evaluating 35 failed transportation PPPs around the world. This paper identifies a set of drivers responsible for the failures of transportation PPPs, discusses the causal relationships between them, and finally evaluates a set of failure mechanisms initiated by the private-sector partners. It sheds light on the role of private-sector partners in terms of triggering failure mechanisms in transportation PPP failures. The identification of failure mechanisms discloses the fact that inappropriate decisions and actions of private-sector partners (i.e., failure drivers) have created problems for other project partners, which ultimately caused the PPP failures. The failure mechanism model suggested here provides insight into the existing failure trends associated with private-sector partners in transportation PPPs. These findings will help private-sector partners to safeguard partnerships more effectively and provide public-sector PPP practitioners with a better understanding of their partners’ actions and decisions and their influence on project success.


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  • Accession Number: 01526091
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: May 12 2014 3:03PM