04 Business opportunities

Business opportunities

Rijkswaterstaat increasingly operates in partnership with market actors. Tasks that Rijkswaterstaat has traditionally performed itself are now delegated to the market. Rijkswaterstaat prescribes how something has to work, 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 (PPP)

Close cooperation calls for new types of contract. A public-private partnership is one of the possible models and represents the most far reaching form of collaboration between the government and the market. The government remains in control of the project and the end result, such as maintaining or building a road or a viaduct, but the project is executed by market parties as far as possible. The contractor is sometimes entirely responsible for the design, construction, management, maintenance and financing of the project. This type of contract can be concluded for a period of 20 or 30 years.

The execution is outsourced. Accordingly, Rijkswaterstaat can deliver the same or better quality with fewer people.

Benefits of PPP

Rijkswaterstaat increasingly uses PPP and Rijkswaterstaat and the market actors both benefit from them: 

  • PPP projects are often completed more quickly and consequently they remain within budget more often.
  • With a PPP, the market actors 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 they will perform the work. 
  • By outsourcing building and management to the same parties, the planners remain responsible for use and maintenance in the long term. The ideas must therefore also be user-friendly and sustainable. 
  • By outsourcing execution, Rijkswaterstaat can deliver the same or better quality with fewer people.

Outsource or not?

Rijkswaterstaat performs a number of management tasks, such as licensing and traffic management, itself. For other tasks, it carefully considers which of them can be outsourced in the form of a public-private partnership and which cannot. If work or projects can be outsourced, Rijkswaterstaat reviews whether it is useful to involve market actors at an early stage in the planning, since outsourcing is not always better or cheaper. PPP contracts are often complex and outsourcing a project in this way can sometimes take longer and be more expensive. The advantages have to outweigh the disadvantages.

From execution to direction

The new way of working calls for a different approach from the parties concerned. Market actors have different tasks and responsibilities and have to adapt. The same applies for the employees at Rijkswaterstaat. Instead of operational work, Rijkswaterstaat’s employees now increasingly direct projects. 

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