A Standard Contract for PPPs the World Over: Recommended PPP Contractual Provisions Submitted to the G20

At the request of the G20, staff at the World Bank has prepared a report recommending model language for public-private partnership
(PPP) contracts. Unfortunately, the proposals fail to grapple with several of the problems that have plagued many PPP schemes, or contribute in a constructive way to finding solutions to them. The failure is largely the consequence of the authors’ preoccupation with the interests of private investors, often to the prejudice of their public partners. Many governments lack the readiness and capacity to negotiate and implement PPPs and even determined proponents of the PPP model admit that it “has become tarnished by its waste, inflexibility and lack of transparency.” The proposed PPP contractual provisions critiqued here include the one-sided approach to risk, dispute resolutions and termination procedures. This analysis seeks to assess the extent to which WBG/PPIAF proposals represent a justifiable balance of public and private interests and concludes, for the reasons set out here, they do not.

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