A value for money assessment is carried out before the implementation of each project through a public private partnership (PPP). This way, the most economical procurement method for a specific project can be determined for the respective public procurement authority. A proper value for money assessment is incidentally carried out in accordance with article 7, paragraph 2 BHO (Federal Financial Regulation) for each financial action of the federal state. This requirement thus not only applies to PPP projects and is not restricted to the federal highway construction - it also applies to other sectors of public procurement.
The individual aspects to be taken into account for avalue for money assessment can be found in the "Arbeitsanleitung Einführung in die Wirtschaftlichkeitsuntersuchungen" (guidance for introduction to the value for money assessment) of the Federal Ministry of Finance (introduction by letter dated 12 January 2011, amended by letter dated 20 December 2013). The guide for "Wirtschaftlichkeitsuntersuchungen bei ÖPP-Projekten" (Value for money assessment for PPP projects; often called "FMK-Leitfaden", issued by the Federal Ministry of Finance (letter dated 20 August 2007) and introduced on behalf of the Ministry of Finance Conference (FMK) addresses specific questions relevant to PPP.
However, this guide ignores the specifics of PPP projects in federal highway due to its general approach. Parallel to the implementation of pilot projects in federal highway construction, the so-called A models, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI, formerly BMVBS) created a guide for value for money assessment considering the specifics of PPP projects in federal highways "Leitfaden für Wirtschaftlichkeitsuntersuchungen für die Vergabe von Betreibermodellen nach dem A-Modell im Bundesautobahnbau (as of October 2008), which has been updated particularly on the basis of the experience gained in previous value for money assessments. The listed documents can be found in the download section.
In accordance with the so-called "FMK-Leitfaden", the value for money assessment ensures a transparent illustration of the economic impacts and the optimisation of costs over the whole period/life cycle of a project.
The PPP procurement process is governed by the following diagram comprising a total of four main phases:
The selection and definition of a project takes place in phase I of the PPP procurement process. The need for federal highway projects is determined by the law on federal highways expansion, which includes the enclosed requirements plan for federal highways. PPP projects in federal highway construction are usually concerned with highway sections with realisation priority. In principle, however, highway sections without construction activities are also considered because maintenance is another focus in addition to construction.
In this initial phase, a project is examined on its basic suitability for PPP procurement. At the same time, information on the status of the procurement of planning permission, any available cost estimates, the location of operational service stations and the traffic volume particularly play a role. If a project is found to be suitable for PPP procurement, the business model and the specific project design for the next phase of the study will usually be determined.
The preliminary value for money assessmen (pEFSvWU – vorläufige Wirtschaftlichkeitsuntersuchung) follows in phase II, where the conventional public procurement method (public sector comparator, "PSC" for short) is determined and compared to the PPP version. If this comparison results in favour of PPPs, the
project is put out to tender; otherwise the project will have to be realised conventionally.
In order to properly compare both procurement methods, certain assumptions must be made and the respective cost and benefits effects must be identified and evaluated. According to the guide "FMK (Leitfaden)", with regard to costs empirical data of management and guide values, as well as carefully determined benchmarks if necessary, should be referred to for the PSC. The respective procurement reality serves as a benchmark: "In doing so, only optimisation approaches that are recognised
by the public project sponsor and where their implementation would also be ensured with conventional procurement of the specific project should be considered." (see guide "Wirtschaftlichkeitsuntersuchungen bei PPP-Projekten", 2006, page 23)
In summary, the vWU provides an overview on the potential effectiveness of procurement methods on the basis of the level of development and information of the project at the time of the investigation.
The final value for money assessment (aWU – abschließende Wirtschaftlichkeitsuntersuchung) in phase III on both the PSC and PPP sides is based on the definitive project design according to the (if necessary adapted during negotiations) tender documents. Finally, the market prices for the PPP procurement are requested and taken into account at this stage. The PPP costs estimated within the framework of the vWU (if necessary using surcharges and reductions) are thus replaced by the offer price of the successful bidder. However, if there is no offer that confirms the PPP version as a beneficial solution, the
project will have to be realised in another form.
The awarding of each PPP project in federal highway requires the economic viability of PPP procurement in accordance with the final value for money assessment. In phase IV, a "systematic screening procedure" as "contract management of PPP projects in federal highways" is established upon commencement of the contract. At the project level, this is used for ongoing quality control and the detection and analysis of deviations in economic terms. At a higher level, this also makes it possible to gain insight for other PPP projects and conventional