public works is the set of buildings, infrastructures and equipment, promoted and built by the government of a territory. Unlike private works, public works are financed with public funds from the State.
Public works are essentially made up of a series of buildings, furniture, equipment and infrastructures that, in order to make common use by citizens, build and promote a government in a territory. These types of works are financed with public funds, as well as possible private donors, for public and general use.
A garden, a (public) hospital, a road, the public lighting of a territory, a (public) school or institute are clear examples of public works.
Different types of contracts
Public works are budgeted and promoted by the government of a territory. However, in various territories, governments do not have construction companies to carry out this work. For this, it requires a private company to carry out the work, being hired by the government to carry out the work.
There are two methods of contracting for public works:
It is the government in charge of selecting – based on its own criteria – the company that will undertake the project, as well as providing the budget assigned for its construction.
What is known as a public contest. It is a system through which a government that wishes to undertake a project, makes a public proposal to which different private companies can choose to execute it. Thus, the different companies issue a proposal to the government so that said company is in charge of undertaking the project, as well as the costs that the process would entail.
That proposal that best suits the needs of the work, both in quality and time and budget, will be in charge of executing the project, being the winner of the contest.
Given the corruption and controversy that direct contracting has caused, in many developed economies , direct contracting has been replaced by public bidding . Thus, the decision enjoys greater transparency in matters of public management . In this way, neutrality in decision-making is guaranteed. In turn, avoiding the preference for a series of companies, which in some countries has been outlawed.
Main public works projects
From the construction of a garden to the main thoroughfare of a city, public works can be observed constantly.
Among the main public works projects undertaken by a government we can find the following:
- Transport works: railway networks, train stations, highways, expressways, highways, roads, ports, channels, straits, airports.
- Urban infrastructure: gardens, streets, bridges, public lighting.
- Hydraulic works: treatment plants, sewers, pipes, ditches, dams, swamps.
- Infrastructure of public buildings: hospitals, cultural centers, museums, schools, institutes, universities, ministries, offices for security forces such as police or firefighters.