What's the Secret? Confidentiality in Planning Infrastructure Using Public/Private Partnerships.

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Examines suppression of information when public infrastructure, including schools, is planned by design-build-finance-operated public/private partnerships. The author studies the case of a public/private partnership to plan a rapid rail line in Vancouver, comparing confidential documents released after project approval to information available while the project was underway. Unfavorable information was kept from public view during the process, and the author recommends four strategies to increase transparency and accountability in large infrastructure projects: 1) a clear and narrow standard for what information should be kept confidential, 2) full access to all project information for the responsible public officials and their staffs, 3) a “watchdog” to ensure that standards are upheld, and 4) allowing public input and placing the burden of proof that information should remain confidential on the entity making the request
Siemiatycki, Matti
Journal of the American Planning Association
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