Commission Working to Review Oversight and Approval Process to Increase Potential for Private Investment in Public Infrastructure Projects
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (August 31, 2011) – Yesterday, Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown presided over a meeting of the Joint Legislative and Executive Commission on Oversight of Public-Private Partnerships. The fifteen member Commission was established in 2010 under House Bill 1370 to evaluate the State’s framework and oversight of public-private partnerships. Governor Martin O’Malley has appointed Lt. Governor Brown to serve as Chair of the Commission.
Under Lt. Governor Brown’s leadership, the Commission is working to fulfill its responsibilities and increase the potential for private investment in public infrastructure projects. This includes assessing the oversight, best practices, and approval processes for public-private partnerships in other states; evaluating the definition of public-private partnership; making recommendations concerning the appropriate manner of conducting legislative monitoring and oversight of public-private partnerships; and making recommendations concerning broad policy parameters within which public-private partnerships should be negotiated. It will release a report to the Governor and General Assembly by the end of the year.
“Private investment in public infrastructure can help Maryland create jobs while building and maintaining our critical infrastructure. Creating a transparent, predictable and fair framework will help the State determine where and when it is appropriate to consider a public-private partnership while maintaining oversight of State assets,” said Lt. Governor Brown. “America has a $2 trillion infrastructure deficit and Maryland’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Transportation Funding interim report found that the State needs to raise $800 million to address its infrastructure needs in the area of transportation. Effective public-private partnerships can help leverage the strengths of the private and public sector and spur projects that otherwise would have to wait for additional funds to become available.”
“Partnering with the private sector in ways that expand the capacity of government to provide needed services and infrastructure holds great potential for our State,” said Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. “I look forward to the Commission’s evaluation and recommendations on how best to evaluate and maximize these opportunities in the future”
“As government resources become more scarce, we need to find new and innovative ways to build and maintain the State’s infrastructure,” said House Speaker Michael E. Busch. “Infrastructure projects through strategic investments is one of the best ways that government can best partner with the private sector to create new jobs. The establishment of a new P3 framework to leverage government dollars is yet another tool for our State.”
As prescribed by law, other members of the Commission include Senator James E. DeGrange (D), District 32; Richard F. Colburn (R), District 37; Delegate Tawanna P. Gaines (D), District 22; Delegate Stephen W. Lafferty (D), District 42; Nancy K. Kopp, State Treasurer; Alvin C. Collins, Secretary of General Services, Beverley K. Swaim-Staley, Secretary of Transportation; William E. Kirwan, Ph.D., Chancellor, University System of Maryland; Carolane Williams, Ph.D., President, Baltimore City Community College; David Wilson, Ed.D., President, Morgan State University; Joseph R. Urgo, Ph.D., President, St. Mary's College of Maryland; Robert C. Brennan, Executive Director, MEDCO; Michael J. Frenz, Executive Director, Maryland Stadium Authority; and Robert Brams of Patton Boggs, a private sector representative with experience in the development of public-private partnerships.
Lt. Governor Brown leads the O’Malley-Brown Administration’s economic development portfolio. He is Chair of the recently launched FastTrack initiative – part of Maryland Made Easy (www.easy.maryland.gov) – to streamline the state permitting process for businesses and developers and he serves as Chair of the Governor’s Subcabinet on Base Realignment and Closure.