Advisor Toolkit

Purpose and overview

P3s are like an automobile: the finished product can only be as good as the assembly line that created it, all the way down to the tiniest bolt and the smallest detail performed by everyone involved. Everything needs to mesh. No part could survive without the others.

The purpose of this guide is to assist Public Sector Agencies (“agencies”) in the hiring of specialized, experienced, and qualified advisors during the pre-procurement and subsequent stages of their P3 projects. In other words, advisors that have been involved each phase of a P3 Project, including financial close (refer to section 1.1) and in different sectors, markets and P3 delivery models.  Section 3 and Appendix B provide more information regarding capability and evaluation.

It provides best practices on P3 business case development, including guidance on developing the procurement documents, project contracts, bridging documents, and financing structures that will lead to solid, long-term partnerships with the private sector.

Included throughout this guide are advisory-specific considerations intended to:

    • reduce the risk of hiring overly-generalized advisory services;
    • generate time-and-cost-savings by allowing agencies to use the templates and fill in project-specific information;
    • define a fair and objective evaluation process that is compliant with appliable state mini-Brooks Act requirements;
    • allow bidders to effectively develop innovative proposals that highlight their expertise and their ability to deliver the specific P3; and
    • better align the expected outcomes of the work with the requirements.

This document is presented in a way that will facilitate agencies in developing their RFPs for advisors. Nevertheless, we recommend that agencies have their procurement and/or legal departments review and ensure the language and evaluation criteria used in this process are consistent with existing contracts and legal frameworks (e.g., Mini-Brooks Act, etc.).

Refer to resources available on AIAI’s website to learn more (e.g., Ten Questions to Ask Your Advisor).

While guide is geared toward hiring P3 advisors, many of the principles and practices can be applied toward hiring non-P3 advisors.

Reader’s Note: In this guide, the term ‘bidders’ shall reference advisory firms when discussing such entities for advisory RFPs, while the term ‘private sector proponent/proponent/Preferred Proponent’ shall reference Project Consortium’s / Contractors when discussing selecting such entities for the Project RFQs and RFPs.

Overview of the guide

At a high level, there are four phases to the P3 process.

This guide covers the first phase of this process in detail. Details about work that occurs in subsequent phases are referenced throughout this guide but will not be covered comprehensively. Please refer to AIAI’s website for additional resources.

  • Section 2 provides best practices in hiring and managing advisory services for P3 projects, including:
    • Guiding principles, roles, and responsibilities that agencies and advisors play in P3 processes.
    • Creating realistic budgets and timelines in the process of hiring advisors and setting up a competitive process to retain high-quality advisory services.
    • Recommended evaluative approaches for selecting advisors.
    • Monitoring and managing advisory capabilities once onboarded and avoiding disruptions in service through the lifecycle of the project.
  • Section 3 provides descriptions of the core advisory capabilities that agencies must procure for P3 projects: the financial, technical, and legal experts who have P3-specific knowledge, skills, and experience.
    • Appendices A through D, which provide a comprehensive starting point that agencies can use to create high-quality, bespoke RFPs that attract and hire for the specialized advisory capabilities needed to successfully undertake P3 projects.
    • Appendix A includes detailed scopes of work for financial, technical, and legal advisory capabilities.
    • Appendix B provides baseline instructions on evaluative criteria to use when hiring for core advisory capabilities.
    • Appendix C includes sector-specific capabilities that agencies can reference to begin customizing their advisor RFPs to align with their specific P3 project.
    • Appendix D includes additional scopes of work for other types of advisory services that may be needed, depending on the nature and complexity of the P3 project the agency is pursuing.
    • Appendices E and F provide template bid forms that illustrate best-practice payment structures and invoicing of advisory services.