Hurdles in Building Public-Private Partnerships

From: The Regulatory Review

Guidance from ACUS could help agencies navigate partnerships with the private sector.


Agencies must navigate many internal processes to properly establish and participate in a partnership. For example, agency officials carefully vet potential partners for any conflicts of interest or prior misconduct that could reflect poorly on the agency. Agencies also must ensure that their authorizing statutes permit them to engage in activities related to the partnership and that they spend partnership-related funds in a manner consistent with both their appropriations statutes and governmentwide authorities pertaining to grants and procurement.

Beyond these core considerations that apply to nearly all partnerships, there is a wide range of additional potential legal issues of which agencies should be aware when considering partnerships. These considerations include: the Paperwork Reduction Act, if the partnership will involve the agency contacting private citizens for information; the Privacy Act, if the agency anticipates coming into possession of personally identifiable information; and the Federal Technology Transfer Actand related legislation, if the agency anticipates the creation of intellectual property during the partnership.

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