There is an increasing trend in North America towards the Private Public Partnership (P3) model for the construction of public infrastructure. Typically the processes used to select the successful proponent include Requests for Expressions of Interest, Requests for Qualifications and Requests for Proposals, all followed by some sort of evaluation and selection process. The projects themselves typically tend to be large ones as they need to meet the market test of being “interesting” enough financially to be worth the significant risk and expense of participating in the selection process.
The organizations that compete for these opportunities are usually joint ventures of companies who do finance, design, construction and operation of the asset or facility. The consequence is that these are highly collaborative efforts requiring large teams of people to access and work with large amounts of data and documentation. That is where the Dataroom comes in. In order to provide all the proponents with equal access to the large volume of background documentation necessary to the process, Owners need to assemble it in a central location that is secure yet still accessible by those involved in the response.
We have been fortunate enough to have been involved in a large number of these types of projects and have been able to identify a few critical requirements for datarooms. They have to be absolutely secure with controlled access. They need to be easily accessible with minimal administration, which rules out many network dependant options. They require an easily reviewed audit trail that can quickly demonstrate exactly who saw what and when. Finally, they need to be able to support virtually any type of file format to make sure everything necessary is shared. Given these criteria, a web accessible document control system that meets these critical requirements is an obvious solution.