The Procuring Authority needs to understand the size and requirements of the project from the outset so that it understands and can track the scope of the data to be managed. This will include having a thorough understanding of what is required under the PPP contract as well as what is required internally from a good record keeping point of view. Most of the information will be provided by the Project Company as part of its obligations under the PPP contract; however, the Procuring Authority should verify this information on a regular basis (as necessary) to ensure that it is accurate and consistent and keep internal records. For example, in relation to claims or other communications with the Project Company. The lenders to the project may also be required to report to the Procuring Authority in some circumstances.
In many jurisdictions, Procuring Authorities define in the PPP contract that the Project Company must use a shared internet-based information management system for the duration of the PPP contract that will be accessible to both parties. Some Procuring Authorities prescribe the type of software to be used to ensure consistency with its own internal information management systems. The parties will also maintain their own internal information management system.
The Procuring Authority should carry out the following when setting up its information management systems:
Example – Incompatible information management systems
On the Gautrain Rapid Rail Link project in South Africa, data and information management systems were stipulated in the contract. These systems turned out to be incompatible with the Project Company’s systems. The Project Company had to convert their document and information management system to be compatible with the Procuring Authority.
For more information, see Gautrain Rapid Rail Link Case Study.
Where a Procuring Authority has systems in place for their portfolio of assets, it is more efficient to build the information management strategy to fit with their existing systems. The decision to set up a new information management system or database should be carefully approached and looked at as a last resort. Implementing new systems into an organisation is a time consuming and costly endeavour that should not be considered unless the existing systems are inadequate.
The Procuring Authority should adopt a single piece of software where possible, which it is already familiar with, to be used between the parties for all communication and record keeping purposes. For example, in one of the case studies, a dedicated program called ‘Teambinder’ was used successfully as a communication and record management tool and is also consistently used on other projects procured by the Procuring Authority.
The contractual requirements of the information management system do not always specify the level of detail required, which is important from an operational point of view. This can be problematic when it is not clear what is required. The Procuring Authority should agree what is required from the Project Company from the outset of each project phase, as the level of detail may not be prescribed in the PPP contract.
View our list of previous questions and answers or submit a question to our PPP Contract Management team.