In 2012, Pennsylvania joined the growing list of states with legislation authorizing public-private partnership (P3) projects. Pennsylvania’s P3 legislation related specifically to transportation projects. Recently, legislation has been introduced in the Pennsylvania General Assembly that would expand authorization for P3 projects to local government and school district projects. If approved, it would open the door to a broad range of P3 projects across the Commonwealth and streamline the bid and award process for P3s for local governments and school districts.

The proposed legislation would amend the Pennsylvania Procurement Code to provide definitive P3 guidelines for local governments and school districts, similar to the guidelines already in place for P3 transportation projects. To encourage greater construction efficiencies, the proposed legislation specifically excludes P3 projects from the requirements of the Pennsylvania Separations Act, which requires soliciting and awarding separate bids and contracts for electrical, HVAC, plumbing, and general construction.

“Eligible projects” under the proposed legislation include facilities such as:

  • School buildings, school stadiums, and land related to school buildings


  • Facilities used principally by a government agency


  • Facilities used for public water supply or treatment, storm water disposal, waste treatment, or public parking


  • Improvements necessary to enhance public safety and security of buildings to be used principally by a government agency


  • Communications infrastructure


  • Utility infrastructure


Bids would be evaluated on the bases of best value for and in the best interest of the government agency and take into consideration such factors as:

  • Cost


  • Price


  • Financial commitment


  • Innovative financing


  • Technical, scientific, or socioeconomic merit


  • Design, operation, and feasibility of the project


  • Public reputation and industry experience of the private bidder


  • Compatibility of the proposed project with existing local plans


  • Local community commitment


The private bidder whose proposal is the best value for and in the best interest of the government agency and the general public will be selected for contract negotiation and enter into a P3 contract with the government agency after reaching an agreement on all terms.

Attorneys in Ballard Spahr’s P3/Infrastructure Group routinely monitor and report on new developments in federal and state infrastructure programs. For more information, please contact P3/Infrastructure Practice Leader Brian Walsh at 215.864.8510 or walsh@ballardspahr.com, Steve T. Park at 215.864.8533 or parks@ballardspahr.com, or the member of the Group with whom you work.


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Related Practices

P3/Infrastructure
Public Finance