Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Observations on the World’s First RFP for Social Impact Bonds


The Treasury Department of New South Wales (NSW), Australia, recently issued the world’s first Request For Proposals for a “Social Benefits Bonds Trial.”  “SBB” is the latest entry in the continuing search for a commonly-accepted name for Social Impact Bonds (SIB), otherwise referred to (primarily by the U.S. and some state governments) as Pay-for-Success (PFS) Bonds or Contracts.  (Thankfully, I won’t be wading into that debate and will use “SIB” here.)  As a former government lawyer who has litigated more than $2 billion in public procurement and contracting disputes, I’m happy to report that the NSW Treasury has drafted an excellent RFP that deserves wide consideration.