A Public Sector Practitioner's Perspective on Public Private Partnerships

A Public Sector Practitioner's Perspective on Public Private Partnerships

Erinn N. Harris (Baltimore City Fire Department, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8159-0.ch004


Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) are something that greatly benefit the public sector and should be encouraged in as many ways as possible. That is, the more participation that can be generated from entities in the public and the private sectors, then the better mitigation, preparedness, and response activities will be. The main concerns are the management of realistic expectations and of all involved entities upholding their promises. This chapter discusses how proper training and transparency of the actions can diminish the risks associated with PPPs. This chapter also discusses how open communication helps maintain realistic expectations, and how maintaining realistic expectations will result in less reliance being placed on any one business or agency. This will lead to more educated people responding faster, which in turn ultimately leads to the original goal of emergency managers (i.e. working yourself out of a job).
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Changing To Sustain Public Private Partnerships

Knowledge, skills and abilities are central to the emergency manager’s “toolbox”. For example, the departments of the city that need to be notified (i.e. Department of Public Works) would already be known to the Emergency manager. However, it is the private sector where efforts need to be focused on creating relationships and a back and forth information flow in order to mitigate incidents as well as reduce the impact of incidents once they occur. But what constitutes a public private partnership? The actual definition is vitally important as everyone needs to be on the same page in terms of expectations, roles and timeframes if they are to be effective. This needs to change if public private partnerships are ever to realize their full potential.

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