During the 2022 session, the Colorado legislature created a Public Private Partnership Office with the Colorado Department of Personnel & Administration. The office was created by the legislature to facilitate the use of public private partnerships as a project delivery device to develop underutilized state land, and to promote the use of P3 as a delivery method where not previously authorized by state law.
Several state agencies, such as the Colorado Department of Transportation, have statutory authority to enter into public private partnerships for state projects. Until the legislature acted in 2022, there was no general authority for all state agencies to use this method of project delivery for any state project. The P3 office was designed to meet that need.
While the P3 office has the authority to undertake a P3 project for any state agency not previously authorized to use this delivery mechanism, the office has been given four priority initiatives by the Colorado legislature, including facilities for treatment of behavioral health, child care, affordable housing and broadband development. In the early stages of its operations, the P3 office will seek opportunities in these priority areas, but its power and authority include any public project authorized to be undertaken by a state agency which does not otherwise have authority to use the P3 delivery mechanism. In the coming months, the P3 office will be seeking to enter into public private partnership agreements with the private sector to achieve these objectives. Where the private sector looks to partner with the state of Colorado for any public project, especially one to be constructed on land owned by the state of Colorado, the P3 office can be a power aid to the accomplishment of such projects.
The P3 office was given the power to design, manage, develop, operate, implement and govern the use of P3 projects for the State of Colorado within the Department of Personnel & Administration. The P3 office administers and manages all responsibility for P3 projects. The office is responsible for the creation of program requirements; analysis and approval or denial of the project proposals; documentation of funding and funding alternatives; due diligence requirements; reporting requirements; policies; standard operating procedures; project thresholds; and technical assistance for any approved public projects.
Squire Patton Boggs has been working closely with the P3 office and other state officials to assist the P3 office in implementing its authority under the new statute.