Protecting Public Entities in Public-Private Partnerships

Amanda Franklin, JD
Director of Risk Management, Wheaton College
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Public-private partnerships differ greatly depending on the project - some examples can include: parks, prisons, charter schools, toll roads, university housing developments and hotels. The increase in popularity for public-private partnerships is due to aging infrastructure and smaller government budgets, but they’re also rich in complexities that come with the joint venture, so the following points need to be established contractually as early as possible.

  • Ownership: public or private entity?
  • State law immunity protection
  • Insurance benefits: availability, price and length of coverage
  • Specific applicable insurance coverage
  • Indemnification and liabilities
  • Responsibility of construction and ongoing operations
  • Employment sourcing, management and compensation
  • Risk reduction and management

The protection of public entities under state law vary for each state. What a public committee can be sued for and the limitations of how much the public entity can be held liable for damages is particular to the partnership, with most states requiring the partnership to be owned by the public entity in order for governmental immunity protection. In considering the intricacies of public and private entities working together, the risk management perspective is invaluable in the process - being able to foresee risks, challenges and implementing safe programs that minimize liability.

Amanda Franklin, JD
Director of Risk Management, Wheaton College

Summary of Qualifications

Amanda is a licensed attorney in the states of Louisiana and Texas. She has assisted numerous public entity clients who are considering entering into public private partnerships through training, contract review, and analysis from a risk management perspective.

Business Experience

Assistant Criminal District Attorney, Tarrant County, Texas, 2006-2010
Independent Risk Management Consultant, 2010-2011
Area Assistant Vice President, Arthur J. Gallagher & Company, 2011-2020 Director of Risk Management, Wheaton College, Present

Professional Affiliations

Member of National and Louisiana chapters of PRIMA

Education

BA, Political Science and Religion, Baylor University
JD, Baylor University School of Law

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