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ActewAGL: a genuine public‐private partnership?

Roger Wettenhall (Centre for Research in Public Sector Management, University of Canberra, Canberra, Australia)

International Journal of Public Sector Management

ISSN: 0951-3558

Article publication date: 17 July 2007




There are two connected purposes: to reflect on the widespread current use and abuse of the term “public‐private partnership”, and to present a case study of an unusual joint venture associating a public and a private enterprise in delivering a multi‐utility service in the Canberra region of Australia.


The article combines the case study method with a review of relevant discourse about PPPs.


On the case study evidence presented, the article concludes that this joint venture comes much closer to being a genuine public‐private partnership than many arrangements loosely described as PPPs today.

Practical implications

The article invites the practitioner/academic community to think more precisely about the factors that need to be considered before it is appropriate to claim that a PPP exists.


The joint venture that is the subject of this case study has not previously been analysed in this way. The article suggests that it has value in serving as a model for the development of better thinking about PPPs.



Wettenhall, R. (2007), "ActewAGL: a genuine public‐private partnership?", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 20 No. 5, pp. 392-414.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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