In DBFMO projects, public procurers transfer to private consortia the responsibility for designing, building, financing, maintaining, and operating public assets. Although DBFMOs are criticized for their possible threat to the safeguarding of public values, the Dutch government recently procured Europe’s biggest waste water purification plant according to DBFMO principles. This article poses two questions: to what extent are transparency, responsibility, and quality safeguarded in the waste water case and what factors are influential in this. The findings provide grounds for modest optimism. Tools such as output specifications, the long-term contract, performance monitoring, and the adequate way in which cooperation between the procurer and consortium has been managed have provided considerable opportunities for the safeguarding of all three values.

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International Journal of Water Governance

Reynaers, A-M. (2015). Public Water in Private Hands: A Case Study on the Safeguarding of Public Values in the First DBFMO in the Dutch Water Sector. International Journal of Water Governance, 3(2), 1–16. doi:10.7564/14-IJWG48