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UPDATED: KPMG recommends a new office to broker public-private transpo deals

Rosalind Helderman

A new consultants' report commissioned by Gov. Bob McDonnell's administration recommends that Virginia create a new government office solely devoted to shepherding transportation public-private partnerships. The report from KPMG Corporate Financing suggests appointing a head of the office with the political will to follow through on potential deals.

The consultants find that Virginia's program is well established and respected, but suggests deals take too long to be brought to fruition. They recommend creating a dedicating funding stream to fund partnerships and leverage private dollars for transportation projects; focusing on smaller deals, not just megaprojects like the Beltway HOT lanes; and looking for deals for non-highway transportation projects.

They also suggest weeding out more unsolicited proposals, deciding earlier in the contract negotiation process whether a proposal that hasn't been sought by the state is worth pursuing at all.

McDonnell has said Virginia's procedures for partnering with the private sector to fund transportation can be improved and that such deals are key to improving the state's transportation network without raising taxes.

UPDATE 4:10 p.m.: In a conference call with reporters, Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton said the KPMG report should not impact private-partnership proposals already being studied by the Virginia Department of Transportation, including proposals on Route 460 and the Port of Virginia. But he said he hoped adopting the recommendations of the $100,000 report would speed partnership deals and help the department become less reaction to proposals--instead doing groundwork ahead of time to identity possible projects for partnerships and then soliciting private partners.

"We're starting to see projects get bogged down, slowed down--some projects languish out there for years before there are any resolutions to them," Connaughton said of the need for the report.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  May 26, 2010; 3:21 PM ET
Categories:  Rosalind Helderman  
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Does KPMG Corporate Financing (or any related entity) structure and/or arrange for such public-private transportation projects, receiving a fee for their services?

I'd be interested to know if this report might be influenced by the prospect that its authors might receive revenue in the future if their recommendations are adopted.

Posted by: jeffersonian1 | May 27, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

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