This week we have Amanda Franklin, Director of Risk Management at Wheaton College, explaining Public-Private Partnerships, and how to protect public entities.

Public Private Partnerships differ greatly depending on the project - some examples can include: parks, prisons, charter schools, toll roads, university housing developments and hotels. The increase in popularity for Public Private Partnerships is due to aging infrastructure and smaller government budgets, but they’re also rich in complexities that come with the joint venture, so the following points need to be established contractually; as early as possible.

Ownership: Public or Private Entity?

State Law Immunity Protection

Insurance Benefits: availability, price and length of coverage

Specific Applicable Insurance Coverage

Indemnification and Liabilities

Responsibility of Construction and Ongoing Operations

Employment Sourcing, Management, and Compensation

Risk Reduction and Management

The protection of public entities under state law vary for each state, specifically in terms of what a public committee can be sued for and the limitations of how much the public entity can be held liable for damages is particular to the partnership, with most states requiring the partnership to be owned by the public entity in order for Governmental Immunity Protection. In considering the intricacies of Public and Private Entities working together, the Risk Management perspective is invaluable in the process - being able to foresee risks, challenges and implementing safe programs that minimize liability.

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