Local governments opting for PPPs in the schools sector
The Portuguese government recently launched a new program to refurbish the secondary schools all over the country. Along with this process more responsibilities are being transferred to local governments concerning pre and elementary schools. This is seen as the main motivation for the settlement of new local public private partnerships (PPP) within this sector. This paper discusses the public private partnerships (PPP) contracts in the Portuguese schools sector. Four national cases and a foreign experience are analysed. In this study, some of the sound practices presented in the literature are highlighted; we argue that some of these practices are not being applied in this sector in Portugal. A risk analysis for the schools sector was developed, hoping to contribute towards an increasing number of partnerships reaching the best possible value for money (VfM). Furthermore, we suggest several contract management guidelines and draw up some improvement proposals. We conclude that there is a need to enhance the transparency of the procurement phase, to normalise the contractual documents, and to assure a better risk allocation as well as an improved monitoring of the contract.
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