Project Manager – Roland Berger Strategy Consultants
Speaks at ID WORLD on CEO & Investor’s Forum
Stefan Haid has been working in public sector consulting and government modernization for more than 10 years with different consulting firms. At Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, Stefan is a leading expert of the Civil Economics Competence Center and its Public Sector Practice Group, specializing amongst other on investment strategies, large infrastructure projects and innovative business models for public service delivery like public private partnerships. He is deeply interested in exploring new ways to modernize public authorities and improve government efficiency, e.g. through electronic identities with biometric features, electronic registers, eGovernment solutions and IT-supported processes. Mr. Haid is fluent in German, English, French, Spanish and Italian.
“PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS (PPPS) AS A PROCUREMENT ALTERNATIVE FOR E-ID PROJECTS”
Many government routinely assess PPPs as alternatives to conventional procurement when initiating public infrastructure projects. The construction and operation of road infrastructure, airports, government buildings, schools, universities, hospitals and many other investments in public infrastructure have often been carried out by private investors that refinance themselves through government transfers or user fees like tolls. In other cases, Government has been better off securing public loans at favorable rates while contracting out the construction and operation of public infrastructure or performing these tasks itself. In most cases, a transparent weighing of procurement alternatives is a standard procedure.
It is surprising that public private partnerships are usually not a standard alternative for the procurement of IT infrastructure. Some attribute this phenomenon to the short innovation cycles of IT as well as problematic and failed projects, but there are also several successful examples. More than 20 out of the 50 US state portals have been programmed and operated as PPPs. Such innovative approaches are increasingly considered for IT infrastructures like broadband networks and digital signatures. The construction and operation of entire eID systems could also be a candidate for PPP.
At first sight, the issuance of eDocuments with biometric features is a genuinely public duty. Nevertheless, it is not unthinkable to transfer the set-up and operation of such an eID system to a private partner under strict regulation. As many governments fail to mobilize the necessary capital and expertise to build and operate state-of-the-art eID systems, a private investor could fill the void. Based on clear specifications and stable refinancing, e.g. through a share of the passport fees, PPPs could constitute an alternative for Governments desiring to procure modern eID systems, but not a panacea. Success depends amongst other on a reliable contractual framework, proper risk allocation, a sound business model and mutually beneficial incentives.