Business opportunities

Rijkswaterstaat is evolving, increasingly forging partnerships with market players. Tasks traditionally carried out by Rijkswaterstaat are now progressively entrusted to the market.

Rijkswaterstaat defines the requirements and parameters but leaves the design and/or the solution to the market. Close cooperation between the government and the private sector is therefore essential.

Public-private partnerships

Close cooperation requires new types of contracts. A public-private partnership (PPP) is a type of contract and represents the most far-reaching form of collaboration between government and the market.

The government retains control of the project and the end result, such as the maintenance or construction of a road or viaduct. However, the project is carried out, where possible, by market parties. Contractors occasionally assume full responsibility for the design, construction, management, maintenance and financing of a project. This type of contract can span a period of 20 or 30 years.

By outsourcing, Rijkswaterstaat can deliver the same or better quality of projects with fewer people

Benefits of public-private partnerships

Rijkswaterstaat is making increasing use of PPPs, reaping benefits for both itself and market players:

  • PPP projects are often completed more quickly and tend to remain within budget.
  • In a PPP, the market players are jointly responsible for the entire process from start to finish. They know what is expected of them, help to find solutions and can decide for themselves how to carry out the work.
  • By outsourcing the construction and management of projects to the same parties, the planners remain responsible for long-term use and maintenance. Ideas must therefore be user-friendly and sustainable.
  • By outsourcing the execution of projects, Rijkswaterstaat can deliver the same or better quality with fewer people.

To outsource or not to outsource

Rijkswaterstaat carries out a number of management tasks in-house, such as licensing and traffic management. For other tasks, we carefully consider which tasks are suitable for outsourcing in the form of a public-private partnership.

If outsourcing proves viable, Rijkswaterstaat considers whether it makes sense to involve market players in the planning at an early stage, as outsourcing is not always better or cheaper.

PPP contracts are often complex, so outsourcing a project in this way can sometimes take longer and be more expensive. The benefits must outweigh the disadvantages.

From execution to governance

This new way of working requires a different approach from the parties involved. Market players have different roles and responsibilities and need to adapt. The same applies to Rijkswaterstaat's employees. Instead of operational work, Rijkswaterstaat employees are now increasingly managing projects. Check out our current tenders on TenderNed.

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