Colorado intends to expand public-private partnerships for government agencies
Public Private Partnerships (P3) are an increasingly popular method of delivering infrastructure projects in the United States. They are based primarily on the benefits they provide in terms of cost and schedule savings, risk shifting, innovation, increased security of supply, long-term cost benefits, and other benefits
In Colorado, P3s have been deployed at state and local levels as a delivery mechanism for various forms of infrastructure. At the state level, lawmakers created the High Performance Transportation Enterprise, now known as the Colorado Transportation Investment Office (CTIO), as a branch of the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). CTIO is authorized to deploy a state highway P3 provisioning mechanism such as: B. the recently completed Central 70 project, the US 36 Managed Lanes project and other improvements. Efforts have been made at the local level to use P3 as a delivery mechanism for airport improvements and other public assets.
An important step was recently taken to expand the use of P3 at the state level in Colorado. The Colorado General Assembly passed and the Governor signed SB22-130. This permit permits state entities, including the executive, legislative and judicial branches of state government, to enter into agreements with private companies to develop and/or implement public projects. The bill excludes CDOT and all colleges, but retains all existing P3 agencies available to those institutions.
A P3 is defined as an agreement between one or more governmental public entities and one or more private partners whereby a governmental public entity can assign responsibility or risk for the development or operation of a public project to a private partner. In return, the private partner may receive the right to all or part of the fees generated by the public project, commitment payments from the state public entity related to the public project, other public funds, or other legally available consideration.
A “public project” is defined as the construction, alteration, repair, demolition, or improvement of any government-owned land, building, structure, facility, property, or other public improvement that is suitable and intended for the advancement of the public health, welfare, or safety and all maintenance programs for maintaining such projects.
The stated purposes of the law include a General Assembly finding that the law is intended to assist the state in addressing its “most urgent and basic needs, such as.” It is likely that these projects will take precedence under the new law.
The bill specifies the project delivery methods or arrangements that a state public entity can use to develop or operate a public project. Funding for a public project can be in the amounts and terms determined by the contracting parties. The private partner and the state public body can use any available money for the public project and make certain financing arrangements.
The executive director of the Colorado Department of Personnel or the executive director’s designee is required under the bill to oversee all P3s conducted under the bill. This ensures that any P3 conducted by a state public entity within the executive branch of state government is in the best interests of the state’s taxpayers. Additional approval requirements by a separate committee are required for the transfer of interest in state property.
The bill provides that the Executive Director must establish requirements for state public entities to initiate calls for proposals or receive unsolicited proposals, subject to the approval of the Executive Director. These requirements are expected to address issues such as benefits associated with the P3 deployment methodology, a value for money analysis, suitability of the proposal and other matters relevant to the Executive Director’s exercise of approval rights. The bill also creates the Public-Private Collaboration Unit within the Department to support and encourage the use of P3 as a delivery mechanism for government projects.