The Center for Public Policy and Private Enterprise provides the strategic linkage between the public and private sector to develop and improve solutions to increasingly complex problems associated with the delivery of public services—a responsibility increasingly shared by both sectors. Operating at the nexus of public and private interests, the Center researches, develops, and promotes best practices; develops policy recommendations; and strives to influence senior decision-makers toward improved government and industry results.
Research Program Highlights
Cyberspace is increasingly a key support for important public services and private economic activity. Data created, transformed, and communicated in the cyber environment ensures the efficiency of key services in the financial services, merchandise trade, and public health environments. Communications infrastructures and the Internet form the backbone of this environment and operate increasingly critical systems - and systems of systems - whose availability, confidentiality and integrity are vital to the wellbeing of economic prosperity and national security.
Threats and risks to the cyber ecosystem have arisen that place into question the adequacy of existing protections against system and infrastructure breakdowns. As both state and non-state actors have become involved in threatening critical infrastructure cybersecurity, protections launched by public and private sector actors must be well integrated if the equities of both are to be appropriately reconciled. CPPPE's prior research on incentives for private sector cyber risk management and prioritization is well placed to innovate in the identification of collaborative alternatives for joint public-private action to improve cyber risk management. In both defense and non-defense environments, CPPPE research seeks to clarify mechanisms to enhance and accelerate the deployment of critical infrastructure cybersecurity risk management solutions, but also to facilitate dialogue both domestically and internationally on norms of cyber interaction in both the economic and national security domains. Deeper appreciation of interdependencies in the use and protection of the cyber ecosystem provides the best assurance of prudent and proactive measures preserving an open environment while at the same time mitigating - and disincentivizing - the most serious and destabilizing risks and behaviors.
Federal Acquisition and Procurement Policy
The Federal government buys $400 Billion worth of goods and services every year. Today, as the nation faces unprecedented budgetary pressures, the need to acquire these goods and services efficiently and effectively has never been greater. The Center works to identify and promote government acquisition best practices and sourcing strategies, such as performance based contracting and public-private partnerships (PPP). Performance based contracts are used to acquire a desired outcome or level of performance. This strategy aligns the objective of the contractor with that of the government customer, and can increase efficiency on both sides. A PPP is a contractual arrangement between a public agency and a private sector entity in which the skills and assets of each sector are shared to deliver a service or facility for the public good; often improving performance, decreasing risk, and reducing costs. Though by no means a panacea, properly-structured and managed PPPs can help finance and deliver large-scale projects that might otherwise not be feasible for government to fund and execute.
A significant portion of acquisition spending, particularly within the Department of Defense, funds product support for existing systems. To improve effectiveness and efficiency in this area, the University of Maryland and the Lockheed Martin Corporation have jointly established the Center for Logistics Collaboration (CLC), under the auspices of CPPPE. The CLC has developed a sustained research and analysis capability in the area of complex system life-cycle product support. As part of this program, two graduate students are competitively selected each year as Lockheed Martin Graduate Student Research Associates. The students conduct and publish research under the supervision of the Center staff. They also participate in site visits, where they have an opportunity to interact with senior Lockheed Martin program personnel. Through this research, the Center has informed government policies to make improvements in the delivery of public services and products, while simultaneously reducing their costs
The healthcare delivery system touches the entire US population, and constitutes fully 1/3 of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). The resources allocated to healthcare and public health fully justify the heightened levels of concern over the efficiency of health care delivery channels, and the design of new models for services provision and finance necessary to maintain the economic viability of the sector and its component parts. CPPPE intends to research consequential aspects of the US healthcare system, from the health exchanges and the systems through which health services for individuals and communities are financed, to the security and integrity of electronic health records and large data collections that support health system access and portability. Innovation in all aspects of the healthcare system involve interaction between the privately run healthcare insurance and service delivery sectors, and government departments charged with ensuring universal access and service quality. Through both collaborations within the University of Maryland system and external institutions, CPPPE seeks to research efficient and innovative solutions to emerging challenges to healthcare delivery and to the integrity of the sector as a whole.
CPPPE research addresses issues that transcend borders. In the areas of defense procurement and cyber security, Center researchers have sought to define concepts and best practices that enhance the efficiency and integrity of key systems where public and private sectors closely interact. in the future, this research focus will increase in importance - as the our researchers establish links with overseas institutions with a similar academic and interdisciplinary focus. the Center currently has an established relationship with the National Defense Technical University (NUDT) of China. Research on defense acquisitions has been the focus of this effort, providing a platform upon which additional work can be developed.
In the future, CPPPE is exploring collaborative research relationships with institutions in Canada and the European Union, approaching joint activities with a focus on joint definition of research problems, identification of solutions that leverage the unique capabilities of public authorities and the private sector, and articulating policy principles that can be customized in different economic venues and policy areas to ensure appropriateness and effectiveness.