Publications

- July/August 2010 Vol. 3 No. 7

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Lost and Found: Taking Inventory of the Public

by Anthony Randazzo

Public-private partnerships (P3) and other types of public to private transactions have been highly touted models for developing and managing infrastructure in the United States. And in the midst of severe government budget constraints, teaming up with the private sector for infrastructure projects is gaining wider acceptance.

However, for a variety of reasons, these models have not been adopted as quickly as some had anticipated. One of the primary hurdles yet to be cleared is the seemingly routine exercise of taking an inventory. Without knowing what is on its balance sheet, a government is not in a position to procure P3 and other privatization transactions, but surprisingly, many governments have a long way to go in this respect.

In 2007, then-Ohio state treasurer Richard Cordray realized his state had no idea how much land it owned. After a brief survey of 20 counties, Cordray uncovered more than 7,000 parcels of land owned by Ohio but missing from any state

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