Pamela Bloomfield was the speaker at the June meeting of the Massachusetts Association of Public Purchasing Officials (MAPPO). Her topic was “Public-Private Partnerships: Promises and Perils.”

The principal takeaways from her presentation were that long-term infrastructure partnerships are commercial contracts that entail significant long-term risks to both parties, that many entail financing mechanisms designed to avoid restrictions on public borrowing, and that public owners contemplating such contracts should take steps to protect the public interest, such as investing in technical and legal expertise as well as long-term contracting capacity.