The need to advance and change the mode of public acquisitions and procurement rose in the late nineteenth century and enormously grew during the massive economic dislocation in the 1970’s and 1980’s and hence the agreements of long term nature for the promotion and development of infrastructure facilities were brought into action. The need to delegate and provide effective basic amenities to the citizens was also a major driving force to the introduction of public private partnerships into the conventional realm of contracts. Basically, a public private partnership is a cooperative arrangement between two or more public and private sectors, typically long term in nature. Public private partnerships are primarily used for infrastructure provisions, such as the building and equipping of schools, hospitals, transport systems, and water and sanitation systems. A public private partnership allows the private entities to enter into new markets and gain contemporary experiences while at the same time sharing the profits, losses and risks arising out of the partnerships as well. The concerning query is that whether the public private partnerships are providing their finest services as promised? Why are some of the major promising developments brought to a standstill? Economic limitations are imposed to Public Private Partnerships by transaction costs as well as costs of regulation and management. In addition, conflicts of interest on the subject matter, deterioration of the environment as well as democratic and structural issues may prevent the project from achieving the expected value for money. Consequently, a Public Private Partnerships could turn out less cost-efficient than alternative forms of public service delivery.
This paper makes an attempt to make an evidence-based analysis of the impact of two major infrastructure projects that have taken place in two developing countries, the impact of Public Private Partnerships on public budgets, and on people’s needs, and more generally on whether Public Private Partnerships have delivered results in the public interest. It also makes an attempt to examine the Public Private Partnership process, and the impact on democracy, equality and fundamental rights including human social and environmental rights. Although it is not intended to generalise conclusions, the lessons from these case studies are contemplated, and recommendations are suggested to maximise the use of public money to deliver quality public services in a transparent, sustainable and accountable manner.