Evidence of PFI benefits slammed by academics

10 April 2007
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11 April 2007 | Paul Snell

Evidence that PFI projects are more efficient than conventional procurement is "highly misleading", according to an academic report.

A study by the Centre for International Public Health Policy (CIPHP) found there were "fundamental flaws" in analysis by the Treasury that PFI projects reduce cost and time overruns.

It also said comparisons used to measure the two types of project were "biased to favour PFI". The report said that of the five studies the Treasury uses as its justification for the success of PFI, only one, the Mott MacDonald report, compares the two. Yet it said the Mott MacDonald report contains "clear evidence of selection bias" - comparing projects procured under much different conditions.

CIPHP said evidence for the claims that PFI projects were delivered on time and budget, compared with public projects, was "non-existent or false".

Alyson Pollock, head of the CIPHP, said: "It would appear that comparisons are rigged in favour of PFI and that Treasury policy is not evidence-based."


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