As the first German state, North Rhine-Westphalia published a Guide on cooperation in general-interest services in which districts, cities and municipalities obtain suggestions on how to select the best form of organization for their tasks. Advantages and disadvantages of collaborating with private partners are shown.
"This guide is unique in content and form," said Regine Unbehauen, head of the PPP Task Force at North Rhine-Westphalia's Ministry of Finance. "It describes concrete examples and experiences, including interviews of works council members, general managers and politicians, and provides practical suggestions to explore the advantages and disadvantages of cooperation."
The guide's author Dr. Ute Jasper explained: "Where a city wants to cooperate with neighboring cities or with private partners, this is not inherently right or wrong. The decisive factor is the concrete benefits that are provided by collaboration in individual cases. The Guide will assist in answering this question and will show pragmatic ways for a competition procedure."
Examples such as disposal in Essen, the port of Krefeld or waste management in the district of Lippe show the opportunities and limits of cooperation between public and private sectors to improve services to citizens and to use taxpayers' money or fees efficiently. What is important, however: The disadvantages and difficulties of such projects are not concealed. Local politicians will thus obtain criteria to decide which solution fits best for their city.