The last few years have seen a resurgence of interest in the use of Public Private Partnerships. With the promise of budget certainty, project efficiency and appropriate risk transfer, Governments are increasingly reaching out to the Private sector for social and economic infrastructure projects.
But alongside the numerous benefits, there are equivalent measures of risk associated with PPPs; and the skill involved in executing an effective PPP project should not be downplayed.
John Holland Executive General Manager, Tom Roche – who is due to speak at the National PPP Summit this November in Melbourne – argues that even the best projects cannot succeed without proper planning and contractual conditions.
In advance of his address at the Summit, he spoke with Informa and touched on some of his insights regarding effective PPP management.
Tom Roche, Executive General Manager of John Holland is due to speak at the National PPP Summit in Melbourne this November.
“You need to plan for success” he says. “And spend far more preparation time than you may initially anticipate. You need to plan for all the key elements of the project – design, construction and commissioning – from day one.The foundations of success are created during the bid phase of most projects”.
Having led an impressive number of successful public sector partnerships throughout his three-decade career, Roche firmly believes a good contractor should be preparing as early as possible and building strong relationships with their public sector clients. He will divulge full details of his approach to PPP preparation during the Summit.
Roche also cites the importance of having sufficiently skilled staff, in areas like negotiation and design and client management. “You need people who can present appropriate, well-thought out arguments, can present the value of their design and construction approach and bring the clients on the journey with them. You need your best people in design development as well as construction in order to be sure that the project will progress well”.
As well as this, he argues that staff must have a ‘partnership mentality’. “Some people treat PPPs in the same way as traditional procurement models. Its human nature”, he says. “Some look for ways to cut corners”. He believes that being seen to be doing your best and having the client’s interests at heart is conducive to a good relationship, and therefore project success.
As well as presenting strategic advice regarding the practical and logistical side of PPPs, Tom will discuss how he believes effective partnerships can be forged.