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Lacking Partnership in PPP Projects

Marijke Nagelkerke, Marcelle van Valkenburg


During the economic crisis the realisation of PPP-contracts in the Netherlands showed a growing number of disputes, thus jeopardising the partnership in PPP-projects. In some projects the contractor submitted claims to (try to) obtain more money, while the contracting authority did not accept each and every claim, leading to discussions and legal disputes. An important cause for this behaviour seems to be financial difficulties of the contractor and/or losses incurred during the realisation of the project. As the assumption was that PPP would lead to value for money, lengthy disputes did not fit the bill. This led to the question of how to prevent contract disputes jeopardising the partnership in a PPP-project and of the dilemmas with which the parties are confronted. Based on our research, we found that it is possible to prevent disputes leading to a lack of partnership, despite the parties’ dilemmas. It does however take a thoughtful approach from all parties concerned during both (pre-)tender and realisation of a PPP project.

Marijke Nagelkerke LL.M, senior legal consultant with Rijkswaterstaat and a PHD student at Delft University of Technology, researching DBFM(O)-contracts (PPP) and Marcelle van Valkenburg LL.M, also a senior legal consultant with Rijkswaterstaat. This article has been written in the author’s personal capacity. The authors would like to thank Mrs. Monika Chao-Duivis LL.M, PhD, professor at Law at Delft University of Technology (RE&H), Mr. Rens van Twisk BEng, contract manager at Rens van Twisk BEng, contract manager at NS Financial Services Company Ltd and Mr Hans Wamelink MSc, PhD, professor in Management in the Built Environment at Delft University of Technology (RE&H) for their invaluable contribution to this paper and their constructive support in the preparation of it. DOI: 10.21552/epppl/2016/4/13


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