The executive branch of government is largely responsible for implementing PPP projects. The processes and institutional responsibilities described in PPP Processes and Institutional Responsibilities aim to create checks and balances within the executive branch on how those decisions are made. This section describes the broader governance of the PPP program—how other entities and the general public participate in the PPP process, and hold the executive accountable for its decisions and actions.
A cornerstone of these accountability mechanisms is the timely and comprehensive disclosure of information about PPP programs. The entities and groups outside the executive with a role to play in ensuring good governance of the PPP program include:
- The public—the public can directly participate in PPP project design through consultation processes (discussed in Stakeholder Communication and Engagement), and in providing feedback on service quality. Contract disclosure and transparency of the PPP process as a whole, as discussed in Disclosure of PPP Project and Program Information, can help ensure improve project design and service performance.
- Supreme auditing institutions—many jurisdictions have independent audit entities, which can play a role in ensuring good governance of PPP programs. Their usefulness is more effective when they are truly independent. They may consider PPP commitments as part of their regular audit responsibilities as detailed in Role of Supreme Auditing Institutions—for example in auditing government financial statements. They may also review PPP project performance or investigate particular points of concern, or review the value for money of the program as a whole. These reviews, in turn, enable the legislature and the public to check on PPP program performance.
- The legislature—the legislative branch of government often defines the PPP framework, bypassing PPP legislation. In some cases, the legislature may be directly involved in the PPP process, approving PPP projects. More commonly, it exercises ex-post oversight by scrutinizing reports on the government's PPP commitments. The role of legislative bodies is outlined in Role of Legislative Bodies.
- Independent regulators—used in several countries to transfer regulatory responsibilities to entities protected from political interference as described in Role of Independent Regulators.
Creating mechanisms through which the legislature, audit bodies, and the public can engage in the PPP process strengthens accountability and helps make the PPP program more participatory, transparent, and legitimate. An example of a well-established positive feedback mechanism which involves all three oversight bodies can be seen in the United Kingdom—PPP audit reports are often used in legislative hearings where all their written recordings are available to the public on the National Audit Office's website (NAO).