(Washington, DC) – This week, the D.C. Council unanimously passed legislation written by Mayor-Elect Muriel Bowser that will help secure funding for large-scale infrastructure projects in the District.
The Public-Private Partnership Act of 2014 is an innovative piece of legislation that encourages private investment in major public works projects and establishes a clear framework for securing public-private partnerships (P3s) in the District of Columbia.
“We have unfunded infrastructure needs that total in the billions of dollars,” said Mayor-Elect Bowser. “The Public-Private Partnership Act gives us an innovative tool to close that gap and deliver on major projects in an efficient and cost effective way. This is a true win-win that will allow the city to continue its forward progress and meet the needs of all District residents.”
The Public Private Partnership Act of 2014 creates a new Office of Public-Private Partnerships that reports to the City Administrator, establishes a streamlined procurement process, and ensures public participation and transparency in the development of P3s. These reforms will enhance the quality of projects in the District, promote greater private investment, and more effectively protect public interests. All P3 projects must still comply with First Source, Fair Wage, Davis-Bacon, local-hiring, and environmental laws.
The legislation is based upon best practices from around the world. It will allow the District to construct much needed infrastructure, in some cases without hitting the District’s 12% debt cap, just as Virginia and Maryland have done in recent years. It will also help leverage millions of dollars in private investment while creating thousands of new jobs and promoting economic development across the District.
Studies have shown that a $1 billion investment in infrastructure creates 18,000 jobs and every $1 spent on these projects injects $1.44 back into the economy.
Mayor-Elect Bowser’s Transition Office is now working with government officials and a broad coalition of business, labor, and civic groups to plan the bill’s implementation, including the creation of the new office, identification of key personnel, and budgeting of resources.