The term partnership is now widely used where more than one organization or interest is involved in, for example, an urban or rural regeneration program. It may be too widely applied to situations where one powerful organization is doing no more than consult with others, or mask fundamental differences of approach and objectives that will later lead to conflict. Building Effective Local Partnerships (Local Government Management Board) offers as a definition: A partnership is an agreement between two or more partners to work together to achieve common aims (Watson 1989).
The increasing popularity of public private partnerships (PPPs) thrusts on to center stage the inherent tension between accountability and transparency on the one hand, and efficiency and commerciality on the other. This paper explores a number of accountability issues that are exacerbated by a public private partnership structure. The organizational structure of a PPP, where much of the activity associated with the delivery of a public service is embedded in a private-sector entity, increases the likelihood that public scrutiny of decisions and actions is significantly inhibited.
The public private partnership, while it has a long and varied history, has risen to prominence in relatively recent times. This prominence
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