Challenges and Complexities in Public Private Partnerships

Literature review: Private and Government institute current security implementations and security measures

Public-Private partnerships are commonly forged for the purposes of working on the desirable means that would address the traditional as well as non-traditional security threats. However, the arrangements are commonly problematic with reasons floated against ambiguity. Carr (2016) noted that they would always be resistance from politicians who largely claim the authority of the state while fostering introduction of measures, laws and policies. This would account for the liability or responsibility for the national security, which renders the public-private partnership with no clear lines of accountability. At one point, Carr (2016) note that President Obama raised the question of efficacy of liberal democratic states, the market driven approach and the attention given to cyber security. For most of the international relations scholars, questions would essentially revolve around the extent to which states can abdicate both the authority as well as the responsibility for national security. Carr (2016) further insists that generating security for all the citizens is a role meant for the state, which equally makes it a delicate matter for the prevailing government. This introduces the notion that policy makers as well as the private sector need to conceptualize the significance of national security, and more so the international cyber security. Tipton and Nozaki (2007) insisted that talking of national security begins with initiatives driven towards information security and the evident understanding of public-private partnership.


Tipton and Nozaki (2007) noted that the understanding of public and private roles or their partnership is always significant. In both the discourse and practice, there are always diverse arrangements that would lead to the explanation of the public-private partnership. Such arrangements start with the government regulatory oversight to the contracted oversight of the large infrastructural projects. For instance, according to Carr (2016), the United Kingdom Cyber Security Strategy indicates that attaining the goal of safety, then the private sector, government and even individuals need to work together. Under the strategy, it is believed that private sector entities are expected to work in partnership with other stakeholders including the law enforcement agencies and government in sharing information as well as resources while transforming the ultimate response to the common challenge behind national security. One of the evident security implementation and security measures includes the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 as noted by US Department of Health and Human Services web-site (2005). The provisions for HIPAA are said to have equally covered the entities under the Security Rule with the assistance of the security standards. Notably, a country moving towards the National Health Information Infrastructure, with the greater help of electronic health records, shows progress to protection of integrity, confidentiality and availability. Under the HIPAA, the US Department of health expects both the government and the private sector to observe the security standards established under “implementation specification”. Behind the latter, basic cyber security practices need to be given attention by both government entities and the private sector. Among the standards, US Department of Health and Human Services web-site (2005) noted that risk analysis should be considered by the government entities and private sector, who would either implement it in partnership or individually.

Voss and Williams (2013) indicated that regardless of the security risks and the attacking points, the key side involves how the government and the private sector institute security implementation. Voss and Williams (2013) insisted that the government is never readily liable for the private networks that are framed in a way, which provokes authority and the capacity to deal with security issues. This means that government entities and the private sector can effectively work on initiatives such as “partnership as a management reform”. The initiative compels the private sector to be responsible and liable for the network security. For instance, Carr (2016) noted that the private sector can work on the cyber security strategy within certain frameworks that are separate from the public good conception. Decisions on security measures and implementation in the private sector would be made based on the business model, the shareholder interests and the profit margins. According to Carr (2016) and Koning (2007), the private sector owners would largely accept the entire responsibility of securing their systems to a profitable measure. The same sense could be echoed in the G8 Initiative established in Russia a highlighted by Forman and Segaar (2006).

The initiative would later turn into the Moscow strategy which supported frameworks that would combat terror attacks. The equal sense would be shared in the Russian G8 Initiative, which considered the private players not as donors but as partners in working on the layered defence framework. The Russian G8 initiative begins with protection of the nuclear materials at the source point. The partnership only stimulates the partner states in investing in greater resources depending on the surfaced capabilities. Other details of the initiative includes declaration of the roles of government entities and the private players such as detection of the nuclear materials that make their way to the urban areas and the ones that enter the port. In addition, sharing best practices between the two sides is greatly allowed while sharing funds that would propel the missions, which aim at seeking terrorists in their respective, catch points. Forman and Segaar (2006) further noted that government entities working together with private players may not be a problem. The only challenge is to enable the two sides appreciate the standards, maintain the partnership program and pursue goals in equal measure. Other mechanisms that seem to push for implementation of security measures, as highlighted by Gstöhl (2007), include the practice of sharing information and the critical infrastructure protection. For instance, in the year 2010, it is said that the United States Government Accountability Offices noted the partnership expectations as far as information sharing is put into consideration. Along the mechanism, it is necessary to report the vulnerabilities and convince the partners’ willingness to pursue the implementation process (Voss and Williams 2013). Strategic points that would call for the full effort of both the government entities and private players include the alert information and actionable cyber threat.

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Gstöhl, S., 2007. Governance through government networks: The G8 and international organizations. The Review of International Organizations, 2(1), pp.1-37.

Forman, S. and Segaar, D., 2006. New coalitions for global governance: the changing dynamics of multilateralism. Global Governance, 12, p.205.

Voss, M.D. and Williams, Z., 2013. Public–private partnerships and supply chain security: C‐TPAT as an indicator of relational security. Journal of Business Logistics, 34(4), pp.320-334.

Koning, J. ed., 2007. The evaluation of active labour market policies: measures, public private partnerships and benchmarking. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Carr, M., 2016. Public–private partnerships in national cyber-security strategies. International Affairs, 92(1), pp.43-62.

US Department of Health and Human Services web-site, 2005. HIPAA security series: security standards: technical safeguards.

Tipton, H.F. and Nozaki, M.K., 2007. Information security management handbook. CRC press.

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