In a time of constrained public budgets, leveraging private-sector financial resources and expertise to deliver a range of infrastructure projects has growing appeal. However, these public/privatepartnerships (PPPs) are often complicated contracts that differ significantly from project toproject and from place to place.

In the United States, many states lack the technical capacity andexpertise to consider such deals and fully protect the public interest. To address this problem, countries, states, and provinces around the world have created specialized institutional entities—called PPP units—to fulfill different functions such as quality control, policy formulation, andtechnical advice.

This Brookings report recommends that U.S. states should:

  • Establish dedicated PPP units to tackle bottlenecks in the PPP process and protect the public interest
  • Pass legislation and change the procurement culture to a more transparent and outcome basedproject selection process
  • Work with the federal government to address technical assistance gaps on PPPs, on an as-needed basis