The Dutch Ministry of Finance has asked the most important stakeholders for input on the current standards for DBFMO (Design Build Finance Maintenance Operate) contracts. The Ministry wishes to improve the standard levels based on current market experiences. The current DBFMO standards can be found here.

DBFMO projects are integrated projects that look beyond the construction or renovation phase of the project and integrate the exploitation and the use into a single contract.

Integrated contracts differ from traditional contracts on a few points. Unlike traditional contracts, which assign different phases of a project to different contractors, integrated contracts assign multiple phases to one contractor.  Contracting to one contractor makes it easier for that contractor to align the different phases of the project with each other and to come up with better solutions for problems that might occur, giving integrated contracts an advantage over traditional contracts. Another key difference is that the contractors themselves usually provide the funding for integrated projects.

In addition to DBFMO contracts, the government also works with other integrated contracts, such as:

  • Design Build (DB)
  • Design Construct (DC)
  • Design Build Maintain (DBM)
  • Engineering Construct (EC)
  • Integral Management Contract (IGM)

It is expected that the market consultations will be completed in early 2017. It will obviously have no effect on existing contracts. For potential projects in the Netherlands (see example: https://www.government.nl/topics/public-private-partnership-ppp-in-central-government/contents/ppp-infrastructure-projects) it is expected that the improved standards shall be used.