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Last Updated: 1/30/2011
Budget Issue: Public private partnership consultant
Program: California Transportation Commission
Finding or Recommendation: Reject without prejudice the request for a three-year $400,000 annual contract from the State Highway Account for a consultant to assist the Commission in the evaluation of public private partnership (P3) projects. Revisit the request later in the budget process when more information on workload will be available.
Further Detail

The California Transportation Commission (CTC) is responsible for evaluating P3 projects that are nominated by Caltrans and local transportation agencies. While we think the CTC would need to contract for outside expertise in order to evaluate such projects, it is not clear at this time whether any projects will be nominated in 2011-12. Thus, we recommend rejecting the request without prejudice and revisiting it later in the budget process. At that time, it is likely that better information about the need for these resources will be available.

In addition, we do not think that these funds should be approved on a three-year basis. Rather, we think that the Legislature should approve an updated request each year so that the funding level can be based on workload. In addition, such an approach would provide the Legislature with more oversight of the P3 program.