Skip to main content

Private Investment in Infrastructure: Dealing with uncertainty in contracts

Summary and Conclusions

Private Investment in Transport Infrastructure: Dealing with Uncertainty in Contracts

Research Report, 22 June 2018

Private Investment in Transport Infrastructure: Dealing with Uncertainty in Contracts cover image

This report examines how decision makers in the public and private sector can better manage the uncertainty inherent in contracts for privately-financed infrastructure and procurement more generally. It presents the findings of 33 experts from 13 countries, convened in a working group by the International Transport Forum. Detailed analyses of specific questions are available in 17 working group papers that complement this synthesis.

The current debate about infrastructure revolves around how to mobilise more private investment to help build new or renew existing assets. Reducing uncertainty for investors is seen as one way to encourage more private infrastructure financing. However, uncertainty about risk affects every party in infrastructure procurement and management - especially suppliers, who deliver most of the value. Would Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), and infrastructure contracts in general, perform better if the public sector creates more information about risk - and makes this information available to bidders? Are there better approaches than PPPs to deal with uncertainty over the long run? The conference presented the findings of a new report, “Private Investment in Transport Infrastructure: Dealing with Uncertainty in Contracts”, and discussed these with academics, practitioners and policy makers from around the world. The report is the main output of an ITF Working Group of more than 20 experts from different disciplines related to infrastructure investment, procurement, civil engineering, and economic regulation. 

See photos from the conference

Related papers:

Papers written in preparation for the Working Group: