Georgia governor signs P3 bill into law

Georgia governor signs P3 bill into law

Georgia’s municipalities now have the authority to procure a wide variety of social infrastructure projects through P3s. Gov. Nathan Deal’s office signed The Partnership for Public Facilities and Infrastructure Act (SB 59) on May 5. The law allows municipalities throughout the state to pursue “qualifying projects” as P3s.

The act defines any project selected in response to a request from local government or submitted by a private entity in an unsolicited proposal as a qualifying project. Projects must be reviewed and approved by a public entity before they can be procured as P3s. The law makes exceptions with regard to electrical generation projects, communications services, cable and video services, and water services.

The law also stipulates that between May 1 and June 30 of the year, a private entity may submit an unsolicited proposal to a responsible public entity, which must contain information such as a project description, and a feasibility statement that contains information such as how the private entity will acquire any necessary property interests, and a list of all permits and approvals required for the project from local, state, or federal agencies.

Projects procured through the Georgia Department of Transportation, the State Transportation Board, or the State Road and Tollway Authority, are also exempt from the law since those bodies already have the authority to procure P3s.

The act also establishes a 10-person committee responsible for setting model guidelines for P3 procurement. The guidelines include the length of time a public agency may consider an unsolicited proposal. The bill also outlines procedures for the review and analysis of each proposal.

Frank Rapoport, chief strategy for the Association for the Improvement of American Infrastructure (AIAI) and a partner at Peckar Abramson, told InfraAmericas that the AIAI plans to assist the commission in developing the new guidelines. “While no legislation is perfect, the law now affords local government with a proven delivery vehicle to stand up new social infrastructure, even entertaining unsolicited proposals,” Rapoport said. “We look forward to engaging with the new commission as it seeks to prepare model guidelines for public entities,” he added.