A Progressive Conversation

P3 Bulletin is excited to finally be back with an in-person conference next month, and we’re expecting some interesting discussions as the industry gets together

On the evening of March 23, P3 experts and leaders from across the Americas will once again convene in New York for the P3 Awards 2021.

However, before celebrating the best endeavors of the market during the pandemic - and the fact this event is taking place in March 2022 is testament to some of those challenges - the industry will be meeting to discuss some of the biggest issues in P3s today, at the P3 Hub event.

One of the hottest topics on the agenda will be the issue of so-called progressive P3s, and how they can help mitigate - or at least, best apportion - some of the risks inherent in any infrastructure project.

For too long, many countries around the world tried (and often failed) to use P3s as a way of transferring all risk onto the private sector, believing such a move will make life easier for themselves as well as reduce the cost of running an asset over the long term. The fallacy of this approach has often been discovered too late, but there is now an increasing understanding that to truly succeed in a P3, there needs to be a deeper, more meaningful partnership between the public and private sectors.

This is where the progressive model has come in. While it still means different things to different people in different parts of the Americas, its essence is beginning to coalesce around a desire to develop partnerships earlier in the procurement process and to work together to explore, understand and then apportion risks with the organization (public or private) that is best suited to dealing with each particular risk.

At our Hub event, experts will explore this further, bringing together experiences as geographically diverse as LA Metro’s Sepulveda Transit project and Infrastructure Ontario’s progressive P3 plans. 

We will also hear from those still skeptical about the potential of progressive P3s, with some in both the public and private sectors yet to be convinced that the approach can always offer best value for money. Our discussions can provide a crucial stepping stone on the path to finding the balance between encouraging private participation, without losing the competitive tension that is a critical benefit of the P3 model.

That is not all that we will be discussing, however, as we will also explore how public agencies can help develop meaningful programs of work that can attract the private sector for the long term.

And with the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act having been passed at the end of last year, we will be looking at how the industry can help drive federal policy decision-making, to ensure that the potential for P3 to make every IIJA dollar go further is not missed. With so much money included in the legislation, finding the role for P3 and helping public agencies recognize that the model can allow them to do even more, will be critical.

Once all the talking is done, it will be time for the P3 Awards, where guests can find out who excelled in the pandemic, and celebrate over dinner and drinks long into the night.

We are really excited to be back in-person and look forward to welcoming you to these events - both are taking place at Pier Sixty in New York and a ticket to the Awards gets you free entry to the conference. For more information on booking your place, click here.