Advisory Services

Traditional and Innovative Funding and Financing Advising Services

The advisor will be responsible for supporting the agency in identifying and applying for state and federal funding programs, assessing innovating funding strategies, and serving as a liaison with relevant federal departments and private sector participants to develop intelligence on tax-exempt financing solutions.

It is imperative that these advisors have both a deep understanding and implementation experience with traditional funding programs and their respective processes, as well as innovative funding and financing. Although it is important that the advisor have context of the local area where applicable, experiences with innovative funding and financing may be limited in the local area.

The agency should not dismiss firms that have experiences in other jurisdictions (i.e., state, national international), as these experiences may serve invaluable. Where local experience is limited, the agency should instruct market participants to partner with local firms to gain context.

The funding and financing advisor’s scope of services may include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • For transportation projects: undertaking studies and analysis of alternative funding options including (but not limited to): Vehicle Miles Travel (VMT) fees, congestion pricing (in urbanized areas), toll roads, managed lanes, user fees, employee levies/payroll taxes, parking levies, air rights, asset monetarization, land use economics, real estate development, transit-oriented development, housing, permitting and entitlements, creation of taxing districts, and land-secured and air rights funding.
  • For student housing projects: identifying potential successful development funding and long-term operating structures; identifying development options that would be attractive to P3 partners or other sources of investment; review various funding strategies seeking to balance the short and long-term fiscal impact of development; determining the fair market value of the properties.
  • Assessing the revenue potential, the public and political interest, and barriers for each alternative funding opportunity.
  • Identifying current land uses and designations, significant landowners and any development plans, and entitlements.
  • Assessing existing taxing districts (if applicable) that have been or are in the process of being implemented.
  • Examining federal funding programs administrated / disbursed by relevant departments (e.g., Federal Transit Administration, Federal Railroad Administration, Department of Transportation, Department of Energy, Federal Highways Administration, Federal Aviation Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Education, Environmental Protection Agency, National Telecommunications, and Information Administration the Federal Communications Commission, etc.); identifying opportunities for the greatness likelihood of funding success.
  • Coordinating with the Build America Bureau and private sector to examine precedent, relevant and best-value financing solutions, including tax-exempt structures.
  • Reviewing previous projects to assess the success and value of alternative funding and financing structures.
  • Facilitating and preparing materials for workshops with internal staff and external stakeholders.
  • Making recommendations for pursuing traditional, alternative funding and financing options.
  • Supporting the agency with preparing reports and communication memos and undertaking stakeholder outreach to pursue the traditional and innovative funding and financing solutions, including making recommendations for any by-law or legislative amendments.

Independent Costing Services

Independent costing advisors prepare certified and independent cost estimates for projects during the pre-procurement phase that are based on the technical advisor’s preliminary cost information and schematic or Class 3 level design. Subsequently, the financial advisor then uses this costing information to perform financial modelling and to prepare budget estimates.

Subject to the relative capital cost and complexity of the project, the independent cost advisor’s role is sometimes combined with that of the technical advisor. Therefore, while the scope of work and key deliverables are presented separately below, the technical advisor may perform these if they have the experience and capability to undertake this work, subject to the discretion of the agency.

The independent cost advisor’s scope of services may include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Reviewing the schematic or Class 3 level design prepared by the technical advisor and advise where there are components that may require more design work to achieve approximately +/- 15% cost accuracy.
  • Preparing the capital cost estimate to support the agency’s decision-making process and documentation.
  • Advising on any differences between the construction cost estimates for the traditional delivery option and the P3 delivery option, including any efficiency factors and risk premiums.
  • Providing pricing intelligence on labor, equipment, commodities, and energy as well as advisory on supply chain issues, as needed.
  • Assisting the agency with preparing the expected operations and routine maintenance and lifecycle costs for the project to produce a whole-of-life project cost estimate.
  • Providing input into the assessment of the construction timeline for the project.
  • Provide support to value engineering exercises, if needed.
  • Attending the risk workshop(s) to provide expertise regarding cost bases, the probability of risk occurrence, and impact of various risks.
  • Assisting with the development of risk mitigation strategies.
  • Preparing contingency allowances for design development, escalation, market conditions, and post-contract change orders.
  • Aiding, as required, in the development of performance specifications and the procurement process for the project.
  • Preparing the overall cost report (with a letter to the agency attesting certification that all cost estimates are to an accuracy of approximately +/- 15%, based on the completion of a schematic or Class 3 level design) that includes:
    • Overall project budget cost estimate, containing construction, operations, maintenance, and lifecycle (i.e., rehabilitation) cost estimates, as required for whole-of-life project costs.
    • Elemental cost analysis that computes the total cost of each cost component and the cost per square meter, if applicable.
    • Elemental cost plan that reflects the size and character of each of the project’s parts.
    • Elemental cost summary that provides a common point of agreement on costs for all project stakeholders.
    • Expected construction cash flow in the form of a robust and substantiated s-curve.
    • Assisting the agency in replying to any subsequent questions related to their work and perform any additional required analyses, as needed.

As the legal, regulatory and policy environment impacting public infrastructure continues to grow and evolve, there is a growing need for agency’s to retain compliance advisory services. Compliance advisors can support agency in conforming to standards, rules, laws, or requirements while implementing innovative and technology-driven compliance control systems that serve as a vehicle to ensure that the project(s) are executed within the overall objectives of the agency.

To ensure their value, compliance advisors should have a line-of-sight over various aspects of the project, including its scope, budget, schedule, outcomes, and deliverables. Compliance advisors should produce regular reviews for agency outlining performance and lessons learned to ensure that the execution of the current and future projects improve going forward.

Compliance responsibilities should be transparent and accountable, meaning that everything is visible, and all tasks should be assigned to responsible agency staff. Compliance enforces good governance in project management, and mitigates risks that may be encountered during the project’s lifecycle.

There are various areas of compliance. This guide focuses on Minority-Based and Disadvantaged-Based Enterprise (MBE/DBE) compliance, and Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS).

Subject to the relative capital cost and complexity of the project, the compliance advisor’s role is sometimes combined with that of the technical advisor. Therefore, while the scopes of work are presented separately below, the technical advisor may perform these if they have the experience and capability to undertake this work, subject to the discretion of the agency.

MBE/DBE Compliance Advisory Services

The compliance advisor’s scope of work for MBE/DBE compliance may include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Assisting the agency in establishing, updating, and disseminating MBE/DBE program best practices
  • Developing, implementing, and maintaining internal MBE/DBE audit policies, procedures, and reporting protocols in accordance with local, state, and national best practice to ensure timely and accurate data collection and reporting.
  • Supporting the agency with outreach events to provide MBE/DBEs the opportunity to gain an understanding of the procurement process.
  • Leading MBE/DBE P3 training and meet-the-prime networking events with the agency/relevant project team members.
  • Identifying participation opportunities for MBE/DBEs and supporting the agency in achieving its MBE/DBE participation goals.
  • Participating in business workshops, seminars, and conferences to promote agency capital programs, projects, and upcoming procurements.
  • Promoting the benefits of MBE/DBE certification.
  • Providing an oversight function for MBE/DBE program.
  • Reviewing all new products, systems, or processes to ensure compliance.
  • Collecting and distributing MBE/DBE utilization performance data, which identifies whether prime contractors are meeting their MBE/DBE contract commitments (made at the time of contract award).
  • Updating project compliance information in B2GNow, PlanetBids, and other cloud-based platforms.
  • Preparing MBE/DBE utilization plans for contract proposal submissions and attending annual project compliance reviews.
  • Monitoring filings and updating profiles for renewal, as necessary.
  • Ensuring Dun & Bradstreet records are up to date.
  • Providing information, training, and technical assistance to the agency, as needed.
  • Assisting the agency in resolving issues between the prime contractor and MBE/DBE subcontractors, which includes logging, investigating, and monitoring to ensure resolution.
  • Identifying and assessing areas of significant business risk, as needed.
  • Managing and reporting compliance breaches and exposures, as needed.
  • Determining and recommending appropriate MBE/DBE non-compliance actions, as needed.

Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) Compliance Services

The compliance advisor’s scope of services for EHS compliance may include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Conducting field assignments, such as performing EHS compliance audits, job hazard assessments, aspect, and impact assessments, EHS risk assessments, and other relevant assignments.
  • Developing, supporting, and implementing ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 EHS management systems, as needed.
  • Preparing technical reports, including documentation of audits and field investigative procedures, data management and interpretation, and development of graphical and tabular presentation of data.
  • Reviewing EHS technical submittals, which includes preparing written comments, coordinating with permitting agencies, preparing documents for preparation to various stakeholder groups.
  • Proactively determining regulatory requirements based on complex permits.
  • Monitoring the private sector partner’s safety programs in accordance with local, state, and federal regulations.
  • Providing compliance support for NEPA requirements.
  • Providing EHS input into procurement documents including RFP and project agreement.
  • Attending safety committee meetings.
  • Leading incident investigations on behalf of the agency, determining root causes, and reporting to leadership.
  • Entering/analyzing monthly EHS metrics into the agency’s EHS website, and helping prepare monthly EHS reports, as needed.

P3 Project Development Office Formation

This type of advisory is structured around supporting the agency in developing a P3 project development office and build institutional capacity. Prospective advisors should have a deep understanding of all aspects of innovative delivery and financing including technical, financial, and legal, have had prior experience in successfully delivering the items in the scope of services, and delivered multiple projects to financial close in the last 7-10 years. They should also have a deep network of P3 contacts in both the public and private sectors.

Financial advisors may be best suited for P3 office formation, given their expertise in commercial matters, project financing, and business case development. Alternatively, and/or in concert with financial advisors, established public-sector P3 offices such as the Build America Bureau, the Virginia P3 (VAP3) office, the LA Metro Office of Extraordinary Innovation, Infrastructure British Columbia, and Infrastructure Ontario are useful resources to support the agency in building a P3 office.

Primary responsibilities include practice formation, policy and market building, developing a center of expertise, providing on-going support, and developing a suite of P3 tools and guidance documents. The scope of services includes (but may not limited to):

  • Working with agency to identify the necessary elements of expertise, deal flow, and infrastructure for the start-up, growth, and stable operations of a P3 unit.
  • Assisting with presentations to stakeholder(s) including elected officials and other impacted parties, as necessary.
  • Supporting the agency with developing the policy framework and relationships required to successfully build a market for P3 projects.
  • Establishing a governance framework, organizational structure, and job descriptions.
  • Supporting in the development of a plan to create policies, delivery and assessment systems, and structures to facilitate the development of a P3 office.
  • Providing advice on how to encourage greater planning, project delivery, and financing innovation within the agency.
  • Leading the development of an unsolicited proposal program.
  • Assisting in advancement of innovations already being pursued within the agency.
  • Advising on resource management for projects in development.
  • Developing key performance indicators to monitor and evaluate the performance of the P3 office.
  • Undertaking a SWOT and risk management analysis for the P3 office.
  • Conducting a preliminary review and providing advice related to the development of a project portfolio, including advice related to advancing projects in the planning phase.
    • Activities include the development and review of P3 business case(s), interaction with stakeholders, and reviews of draft procurement plans and documents.
  • Developing a suite of P3 tools including (but not limited to):
    • Screening tools, including procurement options analysis, concept and business planning structures, and associated templates.
    • Procurement processes and structures including RFQ and proposal templates, project agreement templates, and associated schedules.
    • Procurement and contract management practices including evaluation templates and guidance documents.
    • Project case studies.
  • Supporting the agency in developing a portal on the agency’s website to serve as a repository for innovative delivery and innovative financing / P3 best practice information, to provide the public and private sector with program and project updates.
  • Developing training programs to increase agency staff’s knowledge of innovative project delivery and financing / P3 approaches and facilitating workshops with stakeholders.
  • Obtaining and sharing procurement best practices, case studies, and lessons learned from professional organizations, public agencies, and private sector companies.

Project Controls, Performance and Administration Services

P3 project inherently involve major financial, and potentially reputational risks to the agency. Consequently, the agency may decide to hire a project controls, performance and administration advisor to assist the technical advisor in implementing procedures and processes and advise on areas of efficiency for managing and controlling the budget and schedule for the project. Activities generally include schedule, risk, and fiscal management, cost controls, measuring project status, change control, document and data management, and performance assurance and reporting.

The project controls, performance, and administration services’ scope of services may include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Delivering monthly project control status reports.
  • Creating and maintaining a budget and cost control system that tracks baseline budgets, escalations, change orders, estimate to complete, estimate at completion, and variances.
  • Developing a project work breakdown structure.
  • Attending the risk workshop(s) to provide expertise regarding cost bases, the probability of risk occurrence, and impact of various risks.
  • Assisting with the development of risk mitigation strategies.
  • Creating, maintaining, analyzing, and reporting on detailed project schedules.
  • Updating the monthly schedule, including start and finish dates, activity percent completed, and actual expended costs to date.
  • Coordinating with agency staff and external advisors on schedules and percent complete.
  • Providing timely schedule impact reviews and integrated project schedule updates.
  • Providing key milestone and critical path analyses.
  • Preparing recovery schedules or time impact analysis as required.
  • Developing and maintaining a project document control plan.
  • Maintaining all documents for the project in the electronic data room.
  • Ensuring documents maintained in the electronic data room are stored and accessed as appropriate based on the potential sensitive security status of the documents.

Subject to the relative capital cost and complexity of the project, the role of project controls, performance and administration is sometimes combined with that of the technical advisor. Therefore, while the scope of services is presented separately, the technical advisor may perform these if they have the experience and capability to undertake this work, subject to the discretion of the agency.  Alternatively, program and project management, cost management, and more recently financial advisors provide cost control, performance, and administration services.

Communication services

Innovative delivery such as P3 are new to many agencies, the public, and locally-based enterprises, including Minority and Disadvantaged-Based Enterprises (MBE/DBE).

The introduction of P3s in most agencies requires a change in basic assumptions among its staff, partner agencies, and many stakeholders. This can be inherently challenging, and the reasons for the shift, the costs, and the benefits must be explained to government officials, internal staff, the public, locally-based enterprises, unions, industry associations, and the investor community. Communication advisory firms can play a key role throughout the process.

Effective communication advisors can save agencies a great deal of time, effort, and money by providing an overall strategic communications service for the capital program and/or projects that brings the various groups into the process and ensuring that they support, rather than try to oppose the process.

Communication advisors participate in two ways. The first involves the general publicity surrounding the overall P3 program or project, and this includes issuing briefs to inform stakeholders and the public of the purpose of the P3 and the direction of agency policy, facilitating senior leadership in interviewing with the media, supporting the development of articles explaining the P3 project in the press and industry publications, and organizing workshops with policy makers and stakeholders.

The second type of activity is focused on supporting the financial advisor in generating potential bidder and investor interest in the project, and this includes organizing industry events geared toward the contractor and investor communities, facilitating panel opportunities at industry conferences, and surveying contractor and investment sentiment aimed at gauging the level of interest in the project.

It is critical that the communications advisor have an intimate understanding of the innovative project delivery and financing (gained through experience on previous projects, either locally, nationally, or internationally), as well as knowledge of the agency’s brand, objectives, and outcomes for the program and/or projects. They should also be apt at effectively proactively identifying and solving communication issues.

The communication advisor’s scope of services may include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Sharing responsibilities with internal agency communication staff, including community relations, construction communications, media relations and emergency communications.
  • Coordinating policy-related issues and initiatives as they relate to collaboration with internal and external project stakeholders.
  • Preparing official project communications and preparing official project signage (in multiple languages), as required.
  • Coordinating public announcement and advertising of the procurement process, including RFQ/RFP launch.
  • Coordinating announcement or notification of short-listed and preferred proponents.
  • Developing a P3 public outreach and engagement framework plan for consistent and proactive communications with the public, public officials, partner agencies, media, relevant stakeholders, and private sector.
  • Leading in managing external communications including information flow to and from the general public and stakeholders.
  • Participating and/or leading in strategy sessions with agency leadership, staff, and other consultants.
  • Maintaining consistent awareness of project development, policies, and public perception to strategize for next steps as needed.
  • Crafting media publications
  • Facilitating panel opportunities at industry conferences and surveying contractor and investment sentiment aimed at gauging the level of interest in the project.