Va. to streamline investment process
KPMG's recommendations for improving project delivery of solicited and unsolicited private sector proposals to build and finance highway, rail and public transportation projects, include:
' Establish a separate, multimodal Public-Private Transportation program office led by one individual, to replace the project development process that involves representatives from several transportation entities and divisions within the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). The new office would bring the process under the leadership of one individual who would report directly to the VDOT Commissioner and the Secretary of Transportation.
' Develop standard processes and methodologies for project screening, prioritization and focus on solicited public-private partnership projects. The goal is to create a pipeline of clearly prioritized potential projects to speed development and attract outside investment. KPMG said the change would also expedite decision making for complex projects and help identify funding, and environmental and public outreach needs earlier in the project review process.
' Create a program approach to procurement and delivery of public-private investment projects by utilizing standardized documentation, project specifications and terms, thereby eliminating the need to negotiate these standard items in each procurement process.
' Revise PPTA implementation guidelines, establish a timeline for project delivery, and define the role of the PPTA program office during construction. KPMG also recommended creating a standing independent review panel to consider PPTA proposals in place of the current system of establishing separate independent review panels for each project, as solicitations are received, in an effort to streamline decision making and approval processes.
' Establish a dedicated funding source for the PPTA program office to provide a more predictable and manageable investment strategy to fund project development, staffing and project oversight costs.
KPMG is helping the state implement the recommendations by developing standardized processes for the solicitation, review and selection of concession projects and partners. The company will then develop a long list of potential projects for government officials to consider. The second and third phases of the study are expected to be completed by late summer.