Program vs. Project Procurement

When it comes to infrastructure programs comprised of numerous projects, one of the biggest challenges governments face is how to structure and navigate procurement. Procuring for an infrastructure program typically follows a different path than procuring for an infrastructure project.  In most cases, when procuring a program, the individual projects have yet to be identified at the time of procuring for a program.  This approach allows for flexibility at the onset because once the program is operational, the individual projects can be competitively bid on throughout the development period.  

It is recommended that communities develop goals and objectives that set parameters for the structure of an infrastructure program.  Then tailor those goals and objectives to measurable performance-based metrics to ensure the private sector is held accountable for delivering the community’s goals.  We also recommend that communities hire one private sector partner or team that is held accountable to deliver all components of a program.  This differs from the more traditional program management consultant, where local governments still have to manage dozens of individual contracts throughout different phases of development and operations.

Below are example procurements of infrastructure programs at different levels of government.