Germany has so far made little use of public-private partnerships (PPPs)
(Partnerschaften Deutschland, 2015). PPP arrangements can improve efficiency, but call for a
sound analysis of their suitability to particular infrastructure projects, careful contract
design and full transparency regarding current and future public costs and benefits,
preferably in the context of the budget process.
Municipalities often lack the competence
to manage large investment projects, including PPPs. Germany’s federal structure
generates considerable diversity in the procurement and the implementation of
investment projects across municipalities. This yields valuable lessons about best
practices, which are not exploited. Advisory units at the national or regional level to
support municipalities in procuring and managing investment projects, including for PPPs,
as already introduced in some Länder, would help (Academic Advisory Board of the Federal
Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, 2015).
Considering draft legislation to implement a comprehensive e-procurement system which is
welcome. More efforts are needed to use procurement as a policy lever to promote such
strategic objectives as promoting inclusive and green growth, SMEs and innovation.