Public-Private Partnerships in Municipal Infrastructure: Theory and Practice

As government deficits increase, a variety of approaches are being explored to reduce government expenditures. One technique is to involve the private sector in partnerships with government in the provision of services. This study examines the different models of public-private partnership, assesses their strengths and weaknesses, and reviews a number of specific case studies. Partnerships between school boards and municipalities were reviewed in three municipalities. In several cases, private firms were responsible for financing public infrastructure. Other case studies dealt with the operation of water and sewage treatment plants, garbage collection, and new regulations regarding waste management and the operation of the Windsor-Detroit tunnel. The report concluded that the private sector may be more efficient than government because of its competitiveness, speed of decision-making and flexibility of organization. Other benefits from private sector involvement arise from the ability of the private sector to utilize zoning permissions on publicly-owned land and the ability to pass on costs to home buyers. Difficulties with partnerships include the time required to negotiate contracts, the determination of a private rate of return which is politically acceptable and which also reflects the risk involved, the need to clearly define responsibilities, service levels and fee rates as well as the need to ensure that adequate maintenance takes place on facilities that are to be returned to government operations.

  • Corporate Authors:

    IBI Group, Canada

    230 Richmond Street West
    Toronto, Ontario  Canada  M5V 1V6

    Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

    Room C4-250
    700 Montreal Road
    Ottawa, Ontario  Canada  K1A 0P7
  • Publication Date: 1995


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 1 v., 129p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01149394
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transportation Association of Canada (TAC)
  • Files: TAC
  • Created Date: Jan 28 2010 7:22AM