12 June 2007 | Paul Snell
The CBI has urged Gordon Brown to become an "active champion" of the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) because of the savings and efficiencies generated by the scheme.
But he has been warned that procurement skills will need to be improved as the PFI market becomes more complex.
A report, Building on success: the way forward for PFI, released by the business group this week found average savings from conventionally procured projects often totalled four per cent, while PFI projects delivered average savings of 17 per cent.
PFI was also praised for increasing transparency and accountability in terms of costs, because when contracts for soft services, such as catering and cleaning, are included in the PFI deal, there are fewer suppliers to manage.
But the CBI again urged that procurement and commissioning skills in the public sector need to be improved (News, 19 October). The group said, because of the increasing complexity of PFI contracts, public sector buyers had to improve their knowledge of supply markets and build links with the private sector to share best practice.
The group also recommended the government set up a mechanism where bidders can raise concerns about the way procurement processes are progressing.