Commentary: Public–Private Partnerships: Pitfalls and Possibilities

Date01 January 2014
Published date01 January 2014
50 Public Administration Review • January | February 2014
Lucius J. Riccio
Columbia University
Public–Private Partnerships: Pitfalls and Possibilities
Lucius J. Riccio is senior lecturer at
Columbia University and a registered
professional engineer. He has published
extensively on public sector analytics and
government productivity. Formerly, he
was commissioner of the New York City
Department of Transportation, where he
administered a capital budget of $500
million per year and implemented several
new approaches to public infrastructure
projects, including its f‌i rst design-build
bridge project.
Public Values in Public–Private Partnerships”
by Anne-Marie Reynaers is a must-read for all
government of‌f‌i cials using or contemplating the
use of this “new” infrastructure development/manage-
ment vehicle. Not only does the name, public–private
partnership (PPP), have a phonetic ring to it, but also
it captures an inspiring “best of both worlds” objec-
tive—blending the public purpose of creating needed,
socially and economically benef‌i cial infrastructure
with the ef‌f‌i ciency and cost-conscientious manage-
ment capability and f‌i nancing power of prof‌i t-driven
private sector corporations.
Of course, such promise often does not materialize.
On the public purpose side, not all projects accom-
plish what was projected or please the public they
were intended to serve, often because of the great
stress that such projects impose on the communities

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