The Transportation Partnerships Office uses highly-specialized experts within other areas of government and in the private sector to help analyze problems and provide advice on unique aspects of public/private partnership projects. Recent examples of such unique topics include:
- Assessment of the commercial real estate development potential of under-utilized state-owned lands;
- Legal drafting and review of proposed Early Development Agreements, to be negotiated with the federal government;
- Comparative analysis of tax-exempt toll revenue bond financing scenarios vs. private concession-model financing options for toll roads; and
- Assessment of economic viability of various types of alternative fuels.
Public Sector Expertise
In addition to its own design, engineering and construction expertise, WSDOT has access to specialized services and subject-matter experts within the ranks of state government. The following state government offices serve as key resources and advisors to the Transportation Partnerships Office:
Advisory & Oversight
Private Sector Expertise
Unlike other public/private partnership programs around the country, WSDOT’s Transportation Partnerships Office does not designate private firms as official advisors to the Office. No private firms have been designated WSDOT’s “financial advisor” or “legal representative” for public/private partnership matters. The official financial advisor to WSDOT is the Office of Financial Management (OFM) and, on debt issuance issues, the State Treasurer’s Office. The official legal counsel to WSDOT is the Office of the Attorney General.
However, unique or highly-technical issues sometimes require a level of expertise that can only be found in the private sector. It is most cost-effective for the Transportation Partnerships Office to employ outside experts to focus on clearly-defined, specialized tasks and limited-scope projects than to recruit and hire the same level expertise within the state workforce. Therefore, on a case-by-case basis and after consultation with OFM, the Transportation Partnerships Office may seek private sector expertise for specific projects and limited-scope tasks. Private sector consultants and advisors are retained through competitive procurement processes and state laws governing outside contracting.
Some of the private firms that have been engaged to assist the Transportation Partnerships Office on past projects include:
In addition, many private firms have provided information, shared observations, and advised WSDOT on a pro bono basis, evidencing their concern for and commitment to a better transportation system. The Transportation Partnerships Office is appreciative of their contributions and looking forward to future exchanges.