Wim Leendertse, Jos Arts
This book discusses a study about infrastructure networks and the parties involved in managing and developing such networks. In particular, we study interested in the interaction between (public) network administrators, such as public infrastructure administrators such as Rijkswaterstaat (Dutch main highways and waterways) and ProRail (Dutch main railways) in the Netherlands, and the relevant market parties for developing and managing such infrastructure networks. The interaction between the market and public administrators should exploit the best of both while delivering maximum public and commercial value. Government cannot manage and develop its infrastructure networks without the involvement of the (construction) market and this market seems not to be able to survive without governmental tenders. Our doubts as to whether both parties maximize and appreciate each other gave rise to our study.
We have chosen to focus our study on the Netherlands because, as a result of a construction fraud at the beginning of this century, a transition of the infrastructure sector has been deliberately initiated by the government and involved market. The developments in Netherlands are comparable with developments in other countries, for example, the UK, Australia and the US. Unique for The Netherlands, however, is that to support this transition a lot has been (and still is) experimented with new models of cooperation between the government and the market, like a living lab for public-private partnering. Therefore, we think that the results of our study are very useful and instructive for international infrastructure managers, market parties involved in infrastructure development, infrastructure planners and project managers.
For many years we are active at the interface of the construction market and government, both in making policy for the Rijkswaterstaat and in concrete implementation of such policy in infrastructure projects. What we see is much friction in interaction and consequently recurrent hope and frustration on both sides. Partnering, i.e. regarding and using each other as complementaries in collaboration, is much discussed but still seems not to be common in the sector. We are conviced that there is a lot to gain when both parties better appreciate and exploit their respective roles and capabilities. In order to be able to do that, we think a good analysis of what is happening in the interaction between the (construction) market and (public) infrastructure network administrators is useful and necesssary. This analysis may lead to insight into how the interactive processes work, at least in the perception of the involved parties, and how to make these processes more effective.
The aim of this book is to gain insight into the performance of the transaction between the (public) manager of an infrastructure network and the (commercial) market. We focus at the transaction, the set of relationships that determine the interface between (public) infrastructure network administrators and the (construction) market. Regarding this, the transaction as defined in this study is not similar to a contract, the almost 'magic document', in which one often wants to compress all these relationships. We see the contract as the formal fallout of only one of the relationships in the transaction. We consider the transaction as the whole set of interacting relationships at the interface between infrastructure network administrators and market parties. This transaction determines the behavior of the government in its role as a client to the market, but also in its role as network infrastructure manager. The same transaction determines the behavior of the market. The transaction is therefore the key to the evolvement of sustainable market operation, but at the same time also the key to generating added value for the (public) client. In our study, we have looked for how this transaction can be shaped, taking the best advantage of what the (construction) market and (public) infrastructure network administrators can offer to each other now and in the future.